2020 Septic Tank Regulations – General Binding Rules

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2020 Septic Tank Regulations – General Binding Rules

Environment Agency Rules (current as of 2021)

  • Are you living in a property that is not connected to mains drainage?
  • Are you considering selling or buying a property that is not connected to mains drainage?

Did you know that discharges from septic tanks directly to surface water are not allowed under the General Binding Rules issued by the Government?

If you have a septic tank that discharges directly to surface water, you will need to replace or upgrade your treatment system by 1 January 2020. Where properties with septic tanks that discharge directly to surface water are sold before 1 January 2020, responsibility for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system should be addressed between the buyer and seller as a condition of sale.

General Binding Rules Checklist
Does your septic tank discharge illegally? Use the checklist below to find out.

Is the sewage domestic in nature?

For example from a toilet, bathroom, shower, or kitchen (including businesses such as pubs, hotels or offices).

About the General Binding Rules
The general binding rules exist to keep the environment clean and healthy, and protect the general water supply from harmful contaminants. They can have an impact for buying or selling a house or property, even if that property already has a septic tank or cesspool installed.

You will also need to keep a record of all work done to your sewage system, whether it is a septic tank or sewage treatment plant. This includes and invoices, bills, receipts for having it emptied, maintained or repaired, and especially applies to accidents or incidents involving the equipment, problems and solutions with the equipment, and any complaints regarding the equipment.

More details
For full details of the regulations, please follow the link below: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/general-binding-rules-small-sewage-discharge-to-a-surface-water

Domestic Daily Discharge Calculator
If the sewage discharge is more than 2m3/day, you may have to apply for a permit even when using a sewage treatment plant. Find out how much sewage is discharged each day by using this calculator.

How to use the Domestic Daily Discharge Calculator
Enter the total number of properties and bedrooms connected to the treatment plant. For example, if two houses are connected, one with three bedrooms and the other with four, enter 2 for the number or properties and 7 for the number of bedrooms. The output will be how much effluent your septic tank or small sewage treatment plant will discharge a day in cubic metres.

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