Think TANK

Dee Catchment Partnership

Think T.A.N.K. aims to raise awareness of the pollution that can be caused from badly managed septic tanks, the need for septic tanks to be managed properly, and the benefits a well managed tank offers.

To see this all in one easy to understand format take a look at our Septic Tank Guide leaflet. The leaflet answers questions about how to find your septic tank, how your septic tank works and why you need to look after it. It offers tips to help you keep your septic tank in good working order, reducing the number of times it has to be emptied, protecting the environment as well as saving unnecessary expense. The Septic Tank Guide leaflet has been so successful that it is now UK guidance.  

Septic Tanks in the Dee Catchment

Aberdeenshire has one of the highest numbers of private septic tanks in the UK, with over 4,000 households using a septic tank to treat wastewater from baths, sinks and toilets. When working properly, these are very effective treatment systems, with helpful bacteria doing the work of digesting waste.

However, if a septic tank is not functioning properly it can cause odour nuisance, flooding, pollution, serious health risks, and considerable expense for the owner to meet legal requirements. The liquid that drains away from the tank (effluent) can cause a number of problems. If a system is failing, the effluent may contain high levels of harmful bacteria and so pose a serious health risk to families and communities. The effluent from all tanks (even those that are well-maintained) contains chemical residues (called phosphates) from household cleaning products. Phosphates are a serious pollutant of watercourses and therefore it is important that septic tank owners only use products that are labelled ‘phosphate free’ or ‘septic friendly’, especially if where a tank discharges directly to a burn, river, loch or the sea.

Legal Responsibilities

Septic tank owners have a number of legal responsibilities. They must make sure that the tank is maintained and working properly in order to prevent risks to public health and to protect the environment. All new septic tanks require authorisation before installation, and all existing septic tanks must be registered with SEPA. This can be done at any time, but will be a requirement when the house is next sold. To register your septic tank, visit www.sepa.org/wfdreg or call 0800 80 70 60.

Septic Tank Campaign Continues at Aboyne Highland Games

04 August 2014

On Saturday 2nd August the Dee Catchment Partnership was among the stallholders at Aboyne Highland Games to raise awareness of how people can do their bit to look after the River Dee by looking after ...
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Bachory septic tanks event

13 May 2013

On Friday 10th May the Dee Catchment Partnership set up a stall in the entrance of Banchory Tesco to spread some Septic Tank knowledge. The Septic Tank Guide was there for people to take away as well ...
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New septic tank leaflet launched

22 February 2013

Do you have a Septic Tank? The new DCP Septic Tank Guide is answers questions about how to find your septic tank, how your septic tank works and why you need to look after it. It offers tips to hel...
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Think T.A.N.K! campaign launches at the Tarland Show

09 August 2011

The Think T.A.N.K! campaign aims to encourage north-east residents to 'make friends with their septic tanks'. The campaign is being launched at the Tarland Show on Saturday 13th August. The...
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  • c/o James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH
  • T: 01224 395141
  • E: info@theriverdee.org