Our Environmental Protection & Drainage Team respond to a range of incidents relating to flooding and watercourse pollution within the district.
Rural drainage and trade effluent
The Council have a statutory obligation to prevent pollution and aim for the districts water bodies to achieve ‘good’ ecological status as outlined within the Water Framework Directive 2000. A central component behind this is preventing pollution from rural drainage.
Within the district we regularly monitor, investigate and enforce incidents of pollution that relate to drainage. In terms of private rural drainage i.e. sites not connected to a main foul drainage system we monitor Sewage Treatment Plants, Septic Tanks and Cesspits/Cesspools.
If there are incidents of pollution that are persistent and damaging to the environment it our duty to enforce the owner to bring the facility back to acceptable standard. We may do this by serving notice under the Environment Protection Act 1990, The Building Act 1984 or via a Community Protection Notice (CPN) working under The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Similarly, if a local business is found to discharging trade waste into the environment or mains sewer without the correct licence it is the Council’s statutory duty to prevent this. Examples of this may be oil, fuel, and vehicle wash down water or pesticides and fertilisers. These can be very harmful if released into the environment and should be captured on commercial sites via interceptors and other treatment systems or with an authorised connection to the mains foul water undertaker.
Misconnections occur when a foul or waste water pipe is incorrectly connected to a surface water system that cannot deal with waste water. An example might be if sewage was connected directly into the same pipe as the gutters from the roof of your house. The gutter water is clean and can run away to a stream or river however the sewage from a bathroom should be going to a private sewage treatment system or via a mains sewage connection with Thames Water.