Building Regulations for Drainage

Many people are unsure as to whether there are any building regulations that must be followed when it comes to drainage. Even those that do may not know the specifics that need to be followed.

Drainage regulations can affect two main types of drainage, foul water and surface water.

What Is Foul Water?

Foul water is water from toilets and basins, baths and showers and washing appliances in your home, in short, any water that could be contaminated and will need to be treated and filtered before being returned to the water system. This could be diverted into a septic tank or cesspool or even public sewer.

What Is Surface Water?

Surface water is often rainwater, but from hard surfaces through your usual drainage systems, e.g. gutters and pipes. This water is not harmful and is safely able to be directed into lakes, streams or the ground.

Drainage Regulations

Rules for drainage mainly ensure there is no risk for cross contamination and to ensure the systems can cope with the wastage and volumes of water they will be holding.

Guidance for foul drainage ensures that:

  • Any blockage risks are kept to a minimum
  • Foul air from the drainage system is not allowed to enter buildings
  • The system must be ventilated
  • Any blockage can be assessed and cleared

There are further regulations regarding where the water is diverted to, for example ensuring septic tanks are regularly maintained, and that cesspools will store the suitable amount of waste, however extensive regulations are better found in the Government handbook.

Further Regulations

There are also more regulations to consider when it comes to drainage. Drainage systems and applications such as treatment plants must have a CE mark and have a certificate of compliance with British Standard.

There’s only so much we can cover, but there are definitely a number of regulations to keep in mind when it comes to drainage. For this reason, we recommend following the advice found in the Building and Regulations 2010 Drainage and Waste Disposal document.

This is the best way to ensure you’re clued up on all you need to know and are armed with the knowledge you need for your specific project, as every application will be different.

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