Changes to septic tank regulations in England and Wales

Help your customers

What are the home owners responsibilities?

Under the new code of practice by the Environment Agency, homeowners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the sewage treatment system on their property and to limit its impact on the local environment.

What is the situation?

Since January 2015, new rules relating to sewage treatment discharge came into effect in England and Wales. All direct discharge from a septic tank into a watercourse, such a river, a lake, or a stream, will no longer be permitted. An upgrade or a replacement of the existing septic tank will be required.

Who is affected?

Any homeowner, in England or Wales, who currently has a septic tank directly discharging into a watercourse.

What are the deadlines?

This upgrade of your sewage treatment systems must be in place by January 1, 2020, or when selling the property (if selling before this date). If the Environmental Agency finds that a septic tank is currently polluting surface water, the homeowner will be required to install a new system before 2020.

What are the options?

If a septic tank is discharging directly into a watercourse, three solutions are available:

  • Connect to the main sewer. However, this option is unavailable in a lot of remote areas.. Install a drainage field. Also known as an infiltration system, this allows the septic tank to discharge to the ground instead of a watercourse. Please note that, in many cases, the installation of a drainage field is not possible due to site constraints such as space or the soil not having sufficient drainage potential such as clay soil.. Upgrade your septic tank with a small sewage treatment plant, eliminating the need for any drainage field.

What to do next?

CONTACT USTo find out if you or your customers are affected by the 2020 septic tanks regulations, contact O’Brien Drainage on 08002461079. Book your free site visit or discuss the best course of action for your project. You can also request a quote for a replacement sewage treatment plant.