Valley house owners asked to build septic tanks

Kathmandu

Jul 16, 2014-

In view of the rampant pollution in the rivers of the Kathmandu Valley caused mainly by house owners and large commercial complexes releasing the sewage directly into the Bagmati and other river systems, Kathmandu Valley Development Authority (KDVA) has directed every prospective house owners to compulsorily construct septic tanks.

KVDA’s directives comes as many house owners in the Valley have turned a deaf ear to the government’s provision which makes it mandatory to equip every house with underground septic system.

Officials at the KDVA say that although most of the prospective house owners in the Valley have now started designating an area for septic tanks in their construction drawings, but after receiving the building permit, many of them have been found changing them into water storage reservoirs. “Immediately after finishing the DPC (Damp Proofing Course), all aspiring house owners have to construct septic tank and soak pits. This is what the government’s building code provisions,” said KDVA Commissioner Bhai Kaji Tiwari. A septic tank processes waste discharged into the tank by segregating the scum and sludge from the wastewater. The septic tank usually incorporates three chambers which allows only wastewater to flow out to the main sewerage link while storing the sludge for years until it requires cleaning.

“The good thing about this technology is that the main sewerage system link to houses will not have to deal with the solid wastes, hence allowing it to function efficiently for many years without getting blocked,” said Tiwari, adding that a septic tank, which can be built at a minimum cost of Rs 30,000, can last up to 20 years before it requires cleaning and maintenance.  Similarly, a soak pit is a walled chamber that allows water to slowly deposit into the ground.  “The water that is soaked 10 feet below the ground through soak pit is good enough for household purposes,” added Tiwari.

Meanwhile, the KVDA is now planning to gradually make it mandatory for every household in the Valley to construct septic tanks.

“For now, we will only advice the people to build septic tanks in their residential buildings, but later we will strictly monitor whether owners of residential buildings and commercial complexes have abided by the government’s directive to construct septic tanks,” said Tiwari   

KDVA is being helped in it efforts to enforce the government’s directive to equip every household with septic tanks by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) which recently introduced the third-party verification criteria while constructing buildings so as to monitor the overall structure from the start and supervise the building owners to ensure that the buildings are constructed adhering to the set guidelines.

The metropolis has appointed engineering firms registered under the Nepal Engineering Council. As per  the new regulation, the engineers will inspect the DPC of the buildings after the construction permit and the maps have been registered at the KMC. Only after securing the construction of septic tanks and soak pits, the building owners will receive the permission to construct the ground floor. Last month the government had made it mandatory for every household in urban areas and developing towns across the country  to construct septic tanks.

The rule will be strictly enforced for residential buildings, commercial complexes and other structures in Valley.

Published: 17-07-2014 08:41

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