Owls Hall, Farm Blackmore End, Braintree, Essex CM7 4DF
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Latest News

Latest News

Is your off mains sewage system compliant?

As of January 2020, the Environment Agency’s general binding rules state. If you have a septic tank that directly discharges to surface water, you will be required to replace or upgrade to a full sewage treatment plant. In addition, if you are considering selling or buying a property a  home drain survey is now a legal requirement of the sales process. A report is required to confirm the structural status and compliance of all properties with off mains sewage and if the system is not compliant then the necessary action needs to be agreed between the buyer and seller.  To ensure the system conforms and the sale of the property can complete.

What does this actually mean?

It means it is now an illegal offence to discharge waste from a septic tank into ditches, streams, canals, rivers, surface water drains or any other type of water-course. These new Environmental Agency rules are complex and additional information can be found here: https://lnkd.in/eR7gFUP . Alternatively if you any questions one of the Owls Hall Environmental team would be happy to answer them. Please contact us on 01371 504 045.

How do I know if my off mains sewage meets the new rules?

The most effective way to find out if your drain system is compliant is to have a drain survey completed by a qualified engineer. The survey will carry out an extensive inspection of the tank and all the pipework using CCTV technology and provide a comprehensive report of the findings. At Owls Hall Environmental we have a dedicated home drain survey team who will arrange, complete your survey, produce your report and explain in detail what your report means. If your drain system requires any maintenance repairs or new parts, our team will clarify this and confirm any costs involved to complete the work. Our team aims to complete your survey and provide you report within seven days of your initial contact.

How to arrange your  home drain survey?

Simply contact our home drain survey team by telephone: 01371 504 045 or  Email:   or complete our online form.  They will be happy to arrange a convenient time for our engineer to visit and complete your  home drain survey.

The Top UK Destination for Good Weather in October Half Term

Our new study has revealed the UK holiday destination with the least rain in October.

The research was conducted by comparing the average days of rain in October against the most popular holiday destinations in the UK. The top destinations were determined for having the least days of rain per month, meaning holidaymakers will have a better chance of a sunnier half-term holiday.

It was revealed that Brighton is the least-rainy holiday destination in October, with 10 days of rain on average. It was closely followed by Lowestoft and Eastbourne, which see 10 and 12 days on average respectively.

Below are the full results of the research:

Brighton and Lowestoft each have 10 days of rain on average for October; however, Lowestoft saw 2 millimetres more rain on average, meaning Brighton came out on top. Holiday-goers can visit the famous Brighton Pier, have a drink in the i360 Observation Tower, or go for dinner at the modern Marina.

Eastbourne, the infamous filming location of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, has 12 days of rain on average. You can visit the miniature steam railway, or explore the tunnels at Newhaven fort.

In Lowestoft, you can visit Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park or get close to nature at Africa Alive. Just 10 miles along the coast is popular seaside destination Great Yarmouth, with great family attractions such as the Sea Life Centre and Pleasure Beach.

In the South West of England is Lyme Regis, which averages the most days of rain in October at 23 days. However, there is plenty to do on a rainy day – you can visit the Dinosaurland Fossil Museum or take a trip to the Town Mill.

Head to the North West coast and you’ll find the original Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, as well as the Blackpool Tower, facing a potential of 15 days of rain. If you’re looking for a city break, Edinburgh averages 17 days of rain in October and there are many beautiful attractions to visit on both rainy and dry days.

Guide Dogs for the Blind Sponsorship by Owls Hall
Latest News

Fundraising for our furry friends!

Guide Dogs for the BlindOwls Hall are delighted to announce that they have collected over £100 for Guide Dogs for the Blind. The Charity supports people that are blind or partially sighted enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.

As a team of animal lovers the staff wanted to raise money for this important cause. The money was raised during Owls Hall’s attendance at a number of County Shows these past few months.

MD, Craig Finbow, says:

“We were proud to have raised this sum for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Many of the team here are dog owners and we couldn’t think of a more deserving organisation dedicated to serving blind and partially sighted people to help support.”

For more information about the work of Guide Dogs, please visit www.guidedogs.org.uk

Latest News

The Benefits of Installing a Rainwater Harvesting System

The UK is wet, we all know that, but what falls from the sky isn’t an indication as to how much water we have available to us for our own use. This is limited to how much we can store. With population rising, summers getting dryer and the UK’s water sources becoming more and more stressed, it is no wonder rainwater harvesting is a popular addition to many new build properties. But what are the real benefits to the home owner and the developer? We will take a look in this handy article.

Reduced water consumption
Many water saving solutions like low flush toilets and low flow shower heads, will effect the consumers day to day living. We all love a high flow shower, but including these in a home increases the volume of water consumption. Recycling the rainwater from the roof for use in the toilets, garden taps and washing machine can save 40-50% of mains water usage, therefore allowing people to have higher flow showers and still be reducing their overall water consumption.

Longer lasting appliances
Certain parts of the UK have very hard water. Limescale is a problem which builds up and reduces the life of appliances, especially ones that heat up water like washing machines. Rainwater is soft and doesn’t deposit limescale which increases its lifespan.

Reduction in stormwater runoff
SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems) is a consideration in all urban development. Surface water drains are reaching capacity and there is a driver to ensure we manage stormwater effectively to prevent localised flooding. Rainwater harvesting is the collection and reuse of rainwater from the roof. The inclusion of rainwater harvesting in a new build will have a significant impact on the volume of water sent to the surface water drains which will in turn help alleviate local flooding.
Reduction in sewer connection cost
At the time of writing, Anglian Water and Severn Trent water are offering a reduction in sewer connection costs if the developer uses a rainwater system in a new build. Anglian Water have said: “If a new home uses innovative technology such as rainwater harvesting and water efficient showers, which help the occupants to reduce their consumption to 100 litres a day, then we will discount the infrastructure charges for that connection. Currently, that means a discount of £722 per connection for dual service areas.”

Top tips
Installing a rainwater harvesting system is reasonably simple in a new build. However, there are a few considerations one needs to make when planning for a rainwater system
1. Dual plumbing – There must be a dedicated plumbing circuit to the toilets, washing machine and outside tap. It must be marked with tape to ensure it is not mistaken in the future and used for drinking water.
2. Tank location – The rainwater tank should not be installed too deep in the ground. Most tanks come with built in leaf filters, if the tank is installed too deep, it becomes hard to clean the leaf filter. If at all possible, keep the inlet pipe around 600mm below ground and always use a tank with a 600mm diameter opening to make is easy for the home owner to perform simple maintenance.
3. Protect the pump – all systems require a pump to bring the water from the pump to the toilets. These pumps are pressure operated. Any leaks in toilet valves or dripping taps can make the pump turn on and off. Adding a simple pressure vessel to the system will prolong the life of the pump and ensure the system doesn’t cause any problems for the home owner.
4. Take specialist advise. Many companies are selling rainwater harvesting systems, buying from one that really knows and understands the system well will pay dividends when you need to pick up the phone and ask a question. Making mistakes is costly to rectify, therefore having the support and back up from your supplier is imperative.
5. Ensure you have bought high quality components. The working components of a rainwater harvesting system are the pump, and the mains water top up kit. Ensuring you have a pump by a leading manufacturer and a good quality mains top up kit is imperative.

Owls Hall offers a range of rainwater harvesting products, including complete rainwater harvesting systems, rainwater tanks and water butts.

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to our rainwater specialist, contact Paul on 01844 877032.


Environmental Services, Owls Hall, Sewage Treatment
Latest News

New law coming soon- will it affect you?

If you haven’t already heard, under the new Environment Agency general binding rules, if you have a septic tank that directly discharges to surface water, you will be required to replace or upgrade your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 1st January 2020, or whenever you sell your property (if it is before this date).

To delve in to the information slightly deeper, it will be a legal offence after the above date to discharge waste from a septic tank in to ditches, streams, canals, rivers, surface water drains or any other type of water-course. Although it is over two years away, we would certainly suggest that you at least think about your course of action now (if these rules affect you), so as to reduce your chances of a stressful last quarter of 2019.

There are quite a variation of rules and requirements attached to this new law so we have included a link to the Environment Agency’s explanation here: https://lnkd.in/eR7gFUP. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team on 01371 850537 who will be happy to talk in greater detail about the 2020 E.A. general binding law change.

Latest News

Giving never gets boring!

Here at Owls Hall we work with three amazing charities, one of them being Cancer Research UK who we have recently managed to raise £810 for. The other charities we support include Guide Dogs for the Blind and Tools With A Mission (A Christian charity sending tools across the world) for whom we have also recently raised a combined total of £572.95. Each installation job that Owls Hall attend over £5,000 generates a £10 donation, which we donate on our customers behalf. We also take a Guide Dogs for the Blind collection box to our summer event shows which enables us to give that little bit extra.

Fundraising for our chosen charities remains a core objective for us, it is a great feeling to know that we are contributing to such a worth while cause.


If you would like to donate to Cancer Research UK, please visit https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/donate

Latest News

Another successful outcome for the Owls Hall team

Owls Hall are really pleased to have assisted G’s Global again, this time in Norfolk with one of our ex-hire treatment systems. G’s Global are the largest vegetable growers in the UK with an expanding work force. They required a consultative service with the Environmental Authorities, through to a compressive installation on a tight program to align with their harvest season. Our team worked hard to carry out a dewatering and shoring operation to safely place the treatment system into the ground using a contract lift. The outcome was successful and our clients are happy- what a great start to the weekend!
If you have any forth coming welfare projects that we can assist you with, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Smart Motorway scheme well and truly underway
Latest News

Smart Motorway scheme well and truly underway

Owls Hall are pleased to have supported Costain Galliford Try Joint Venture on their Smart Motorway scheme on the M1 in Derbyshire last week. We were contracted to undertake temporary and permanent welfare solutions on site for our clients, along with consultation throughout the project with the Environment Agency. The works included the supply of a RBC treatment plant to meet the consent standard, which was delivered on budget and to the clients tight program. Well done team!

rainwater harvesting tank
Latest News

All aboard a rainwater harvesting tank?

The team at Owls Hall had a great evening practicing for a raft race at Gosfield Lake last week. We used Premier Tech’s F-Line 1500 Litres Underground Water Tank as our raft which floated perfectly – although the team thought bigger oars would be better next time.

Taking the helm was MD, Craig Finbow with team members Christel, Gary, Sara and little Theo.

With first practice over, the team met the rest of the staff for a fish and chip supper and watched the sunset over the beautiful setting of the lake.


Making good use of rainwater with a harvesting system
Latest News

Making good use of rainwater with a harvesting system

Water is of vital importance to our everyday lives and needs, yet we rarely think about its origins.

So where does our mains water comes from?

Regional water companies have two ways of sourcing water. The first is through underground reserves called aquifers, which are permeable water-bearing rocks that hold water from rainfall. The second is through above-ground sources – rivers and reservoirs. These water supply systems are nothing new and have been around for centuries, much like rainwater harvesting.

What is rainwater harvesting and what is its history?

Rainwater harvesting is a system which collects rainwater from rivers, reservoirs or rainfall on roofs and is transported via pipes and stored in tanks or cisterns. The water is then re-used for the garden, livestock, in the home or as drinking water.

Rainwater harvesting has been common practice in many countries around the world for centuries, usually within the agricultural community.

Why choose a rainwater harvesting System?

As we move closer to a more sustainable lifestyle, many of us are tackling depletion of the earth’s resources by re-using and recycling on a global and local scale. Water can be re-used with the installation of a rainwater harvest system. So what are the benefits of having a rainwater harvesting tank system?

Firstly, you will always have an additional source of free water whether or not there is a variation in rainfall.

Secondly, the rainwater harvesting system allows you to store excess rainwater, in order to help prevent flooding.

Thirdly, as rainwater is untreated it is better for plants and agriculture so it can be stored and used as irrigation when necessary.

What can rainwater be used for?

Primarily rainwater can be re-used for flushing the toilet, washing clothes, washing the car and watering the garden.

Although rainwater is relatively free from impurities, how it has been collected or stored may impact on the quality. Before rainwater can be used as drinking water it has to go through a process of filtering and treatment.

Why Owls Hall?

As a leading water management company, Owls Hall has 40 years of expertise in the field.  Speak to our rainwater harvesting expert Paul Gormley on 01844 877030 or expert@owlshall.co.uk or view our rainwater harvesting shop. With our broad experience of working with the public and leading contractors, we are able to offer you the right advice for your residential or business development.

Give us a call today. We would love to hear from you.

Check out how easy it is to install a tank