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Stop Selling Septic Tanks and Sell Up Instead

Marsh Industries warn that regulations around septic tanks are changing and that merchants may well be better off selling on, selling up and selling small sewage treatment plants instead.

“Selling a small water treatment plant instead of a septic tank is simply better for the customer, better for the environment, and better for a merchant’s business,” says Marsh MD Steve Boyer. “Merchants can make more profitable sales on systems that will give their customers the quality results they need, and Marsh can provide merchants with all of the tech backup and support they need to make that sale.”

In fact, a septic tank may be the wrong product to sell anyway, even if the customer believes that that is what they need. “A septic tank could fail to meet final effluent standards for the water leaving the system,” explains Steve Boyer. The outflow from a septic tank can never be discharged into the water course because of requirements for total suspended solids (TSS) & biological oxygen demand (BOD) levels. “This means that a septic tank actually has a much more complex and costly installation process than a treatment plant. Sewage treatment plants solve this problem by mechanically treating the liquid so that it is clean enough to be discharged into surface water, rivers or ditches. This makes installation much easier on site.”

Changes in regulations are also providing opportunities for merchants to sell sewage treatment plant From 1 January 2020 if a property has a septic tank that discharges to a watercourse (i.e. not to drainage field), you will no longer be allowed to discharge.

If your septic tank is currently discharging directly into surface water, doing nothing means you will find yourself in breach of the regulations from 2020. To stay on the right side of your legal requirement, you can choose one of the following options – all of which may not be available to you, depending on the type of ground you have available:

  • Connect your existing septic tank to a mains sewer (gravity or pumping)
  • Install a drainage field to connect to the outflow of your septic tank.
  • Replace your septic tank with a sewage treatment plant.


An additional benefit of selling sewage treatment systems is the opportunity for up- and on-selling – of aggregate, pipe work and risers for example.

Marsh offers a full technical and design team to support merchant sales. They can carry out site visits, assist with design queries and even help with getting approvals from building control if necessary. The company also has an expert Contracts Team who can assist merchants with quotations, letters and technical queries. This means that selling sewage treatment plants is a simple and straightforward process for merchants who ask their customers the right questions when they ask about a septic tank.

The Marsh Ensign range is the perfect sewage treatment system for merchants to sell easily and profitably. The range is designed to be unobtrusive, easy-to-install, and cheap to run for domestic, leisure or commercial off mains drainage projects, making it the perfect merchant sale. There are ten products in the UK-manufactured ENsign range suitable for serving from 6-60 people, so they can be used for a variety of projects from single dwellings to apartment blocks. Fully tested to EN12566-3, CE marked, and certified to 12:19:09 effluent quality Ensign units are backed with a 25-year structural Warranty.

About Elizabeth Jordan

I'm the Assistant Editor on BMJ. If you have any product or people information, or some news you'd like to share, please feel free to email me.

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