Non-mains drainage

Non-mains drainage is mainly found in the rural areas of Derbyshire Dales. The District Council retains a regulatory role in respect of non-mains drainage. If you wish to make a complaint or have an enquiry regarding non-mains drainage please contact us.


A cesspool is a watertight underground tank with a minimum capacity of 18,000 litres. Older cesspools are lined with brick or concrete, and more modern ones with plastics, polythene or steel. Foul water is stored until the time of disposal. A cesspool must be pumped out or otherwise emptied by a competent contractor. It is an offence for anyone other than a competent contractor to do this.

Septic tank

A septic tank is effectively a mini-sewerage system. Sewage is stored in a watertight tank where bacteria break down solid matter to one third of its original volume. Settled solids are retained and a clear liquid flows out via land drainage. Installing a new septic tank requires permission from Building Control and a consent to discharge from the Environment Agency.