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Floods wash septic tank out of ground at Tarrant Gunville development

By Blackmore Vale Magazine  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

Floods caused chaos across The Blackmore Vale last week

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FLOODING concerns raised by local residents were confirmed last week when a large septic tank was washed out of the ground at a new housing development in Tarrant Gunville.

Bailey Cottages is a development of four semi-detached, affordable family homes by Spectrum Housing. The houses were constructed with financial support from North Dorset District Council to be let to families with connections to the village.

Local people warned the council about the threat of flooding when plans were submitted.

The sewage tank, which hadn't been connected, was washed out of the ground after last week's heavy rainfall.

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A local resident who did not wish to be named, said: "There was so much water under the septic tank that it just rose out of the ground. Luckily the homes are still empty because it would have been very serious if the tank was in use.

"We had warned the council that there were springs there. The planning authorities should listen to local people."

A spokesman for North Dorset District Council said: "There were local representations regarding flooding during the planning process for Bailey Cottages, mainly focused upon the likelihood that the addition of further hard surfaced areas on the site would lead to greater flooding of the road. They didn't talk about the site's high ground water levels which may be a part reason for the issues.

"The outcome regarding the sealed tank is not what local people had envisaged necessarily. However, we need to put the weather of the past two weeks building upon the wet summer and autumn into some perspective."

Stephen Dunhill, divisional director of development at Spectrum Housing Group, said architects were aware of the risk of planning and he was confident that any problems would be overcome before the homes are occupied.

"We are awaiting a detailed report from our contractor but we can assure you that the problem will be rectified before anyone moves in.

"The first indications are that a part failed but we will ensure that the issue is resolved. The potential for flooding was taken into account at the design and planning stage to ensure that all flooding risks are minimised."

Mathew Manning


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  • RobinClay  |  December 08 2012, 12:39PM

    What a song and dance about nothing ! Of COURSE the tank floated - it was empty ! And having been recently installed, the ground round it hadn't settled. HAD the houses been occupied, the tank would have been full, and there would have been no problem. Septic tanks are always full - effluent is only ever discharged when more sewage enters. The longer the sewage remains in the tank, the better the "digestion" and the clearer the effluent. The water table rises and falls with the seasons / with rainfall.