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Septic Tank Regulations

Septic Tank Regulations

Comply with 2020 Septic Tank Regulations with Expert Help

General binding rules: small sewage discharge to surface water – such an inconspicuous title to a piece of updated legislation, isn’t it? But looks can be deceiving and in this case, the ramifications on many homeowners and small businesses across the UK can actually be quite severe. Indeed, if you are purchasing a property with a septic tank this article is also for you as you need to find out whether the owner is fully compliant prior to committing to anything.

The Environment Agency has really taken the bull by the horns on septic tank regulations to protect streams and rivers from pollution. The new rules and regulations are in place to help safeguard local waterways and protect the wildlife that relies on them. The regulations deal with the siting of septic tanks and where they can discharge. The regulations actually came out in 2015 but were only enforceable from January 2020. That meant five years to comply, but you could, as a prospective purchaser still find yourself in a position where you are looking at properties with non-compliant septic tanks on the grounds. Vigilance is important. You may also have delayed too long and found yourself yet to upgrade your system. In any case, it is imperative that you get the help of experts to ensure that you don’t get caught out and find yourself given a hefty fine.

Essentially, the changes mean that you cannot discharge outflow from a septic tank to anywhere other than a drainage field/soakaway field. The scientific evidence has found that the wastewater cannot otherwise safely disperse and is a huge pollution risk. When you use a drainage field or soakaway system the wastewater is allowed to seep through small gaps in the piping into the sub-soil, which in effect treats the waste and avoids the risk of pollution.

If at all in doubt whether your septic tank is discharging in a way other than this, you should get in touch with the experts post-haste. Any specialist company will come out to your property to carry out an assessment and may even be able to give the assurance you need over the phone. This is not a set of regulations that can be trifled with – there are serious consequences of failing to comply and considering the real need for protecting our waterways you will also be able to rest safely in the knowledge that you are not contributing in any way to the pollution of systems that come under enough threat from other directions.

In terms of the ramifications for you if you find yourself in charge of a septic tank that does discharge directly into a watercourse you will be looking at one of three main solutions. You can either:

  • 1.  Install an infiltration system or drainage field, enabling the waste to discharge into the ground and disperse.
  • 2.  Connect up to a mains sewer if possible.
  • 3. Remove the septic tank and fit a small sewage treatment plant.

If in doubt, do not delay. Contact an expert today and give yourself peace of mind.



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