The North West of England has the highest number of septic tanks in the UK, in addition to this the North West is home to environmentally significant and sensitive water habitats, beautiful rivers and lakes.
Septic tanks are miniature sewage treatment works which store and treat the waste from homes that are not connected to the public sewer network. They return partly treated water to local water courses or into the ground. A properly maintained, fully functioning sewage treatment system is crucial for a safe and healthy environment. If it fails, it’ll start to smell, spread disease to humans and animals and pollute rivers, lakes, coastal waters and groundwater.
BEACON started work on the Call of Nature Project in September 2017. The aim of this project is to engage with homeowners and farmers who have properties that are not connected to mains sewers. Many people are not aware of how to look after their septic tank or sewage treatment system, nor do they realise the impact that a failing system can have on the environment.
By looking at maps we have been able to identify the parishes of Marthall, Ollerton and parts of Chelford as areas where there are a significant number of houses and buildings not connected to mains sewers.
The brooks in these areas, Marthall and Pedley Brooks are in poor ecological condition because of high levels of phosphates and nitrates found in the water. You can view that information here. Phosphates can be high in a waterbody often due to animal manure leeching into the water, excess fertiliser applied to crops and fields, and soil erosion. Nitrates enter a waterbody again through use of fertilisers, and discharges from septic tanks and sewage plants.
In Marthall, Ollerton and Chelford, we will be talking to local people about how to maintain the sewage systems they have, and help communities who are interested in becoming connected to the mains sewer system to do so. We have been able to arrange discounts with Serious Waste Management and John Howe for those who get their septic tanks emptied as part of this project.
Volunteers from these parishes will be trained to become River Guardians and carry out water quality surveys in the local area to determine the impact the project has on the water quality of Marthall and Pedley Brooks. To become a River Guardian, please attend a training event, details of which are on the events page of this website.
To request some information please contact us here Or visit the BEACON stand at the Chelford Christmas Fair Saturday 2nd December 2pm onwards – Marthall Hall WA16 7SB
For more information on the Call of Nature Project run in the North West please visit their website here.
This project is being delivered through the Mersey Rivers Trust, and is funded by the Environment Agency.