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Grants available for Windermere septic tank schemes

Grants are available for homes, businesses and farms in and around Windermere to form community septic tank emptying schemes.

Love Windermere information packs are going to 1900 properties and businesses across Windermere in the coming weeks with advice on how to maintain septic tanks and in-turn, keep the lake healthy.

The move is part of the Love Windermere Partnership which was launched in the summer with the biggest ever cooperation of stakeholders to tackle challenges in the lake.

The Lake District Foundation is working with the Environment Agency to help prevent pollution in Windermere caused by poorly maintained non-mains drainage systems.

Better maintenance of septic tanks could contribute to better water quality at Windermere and significantly reduce septic tank maintenance costs.

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation Chief Executive, said: “We all want water quality to be the best it can be for all to enjoy.

“We are trialling a new project where people can save time and money by joining a community emptying scheme. We have grants available to help communities come together to have tanks emptied at the same time.

“This is a really exciting move which has never been attempted before in Windermere and we are keen to work with the community to make a positive impact on this wonderful place.”

A digital version of the pack can be viewed here. 

Around £8000 is available in total for neighbours to set up community emptying schemes. Septic tank owners can register interest in community collection schemes here: www.callofnature.info/windermereproperty-pack-feedback/ 

The Love Windermere Partnership was launched in July 2022. The partnership is developing a science-based plan to set out a road map for environmental protection that could be replicated across the UK.

Led by the Environment Agency, the partnership includes the Freshwater Biological Association; Lake District Foundation; Lake District National Park Authority; National Farmers Union; National Trust; South Cumbria Rivers Trust, South Lakeland District Council, United Utilities, and Cumbria LEP.

You can support water quality projects in the Lake District by donating to the Lake District Foundation Water Fund today. Visit www.lakedistrictfoundation.org/current-campaigns/cleaner-lakes to donate. Or you can text “LAKE” to 70450 to donate £5 or text Lake10 to donate £10. Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message.

Top Tips for looking after septic tanks:

• Check the condition and regularly empty septic tank systems.
• Check and empty holding tanks on boats to prevent pollution.
• Use phosphate-free cleaning products.
• Join a community septic tank emptying scheme.
• Reduce fertiliser on lawns, gardens and farmland that can ultimately end up in the lake – and pay attention to the forecast – don’t spread if it’s going to rain.
• Support your local river trusts and wildlife groups.

In the home:

• Only use cleaners and detergents that are suitable for septic tanks and are phosphate free. A few minutes spent looking at labels will reward you in the long term.
• Please avoid bleach and other harsh chemicals as these will kill off the working bacteria in your tank.
• Flushed with success: Keep it simple when it comes to your toilet and only flush the 3 P’s – pee, poo and (toilet) paper. Never flush cleaning wipes, wet wipes, facial wipes, cotton buds, sanitary products, nappies or condoms.
• Sink savvy: Don’t pour food waste and cooking oils down your sink and as with your toilet don’t use harsh chemicals or bleach.

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