New legislation for domestic septic tank owners
Domestic septic tank owners - are you compliant with the new 2020 legislation?
If your home is not connected to the mains sewage network then the new General Binding rules that came into force on 1st January 2020 may affect you. The environment agency has shared new rules in an attempt to tackle water pollution which means your Septic Tank may need replacing or upgrading.
Under the new rules, septic tanks can no longer discharge liquid directly to surface water (rivers, streams, canals, water surface drains or any other watercourse). If your septic tank does discharge into any of these, then you may need to upgrade your septic tank.
Do the new rules apply to me?
Yes, if you own, use or maintain a septic tank. If you are on rented property with a septic tank, it may be worth discussing the changes with your landlord.
What are my next steps?
Contact Paul James our Wet Waste manager on 0118 9894652. Paul can come out and see if you are using the correct treatment system, he will also be able to advise on
- what treatment system you currently have
- what you are required to do under the general binding rules
If your septic tank discharges directly to a watercourse, you need to do one of the following as soon as possible:
- connect to a mains sewer network
- install a drainage field (also known as an infiltration system). These take the wastewater from your septic tank and discharge it into the ground without causing pollution.
- replace your septic tank with a small sewage treatment plant. These turn waste into wastewater that’s clean enough to discharge straight to a waterway.
What else do you need to know?
Buying or selling a property with a septic tank
If you are buying or selling a property with a septic tank that discharges directly to a watercourse, you should agree with the buyer or seller who will be responsible for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system.
Ensure your septic tank has the appropriate capacity
Make sure that whatever treatment system you have is large enough to handle the maximum amount of sewage that it may need to treat. If you extend your property or take on an additional property, you may need to upgrade. If your daily volume of discharge is over five cubic metres (5,000 litres) a day, you will need to apply for a permit.