New Rules & Regulations Regarding Septic Tanks + Treatment Plants

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What Happened?

As some people are aware (but not that many) The Environment Agency introduced new rules which came into force on the 1st January 2015 regarding Septic tanks that release / discharge to surface water.

What has changed?

You must use a small sewage treatment plant to treat the sewage if you’re discharging to surface water such as a river or stream. A small sewage treatment plant (also known as a package treatment plant) uses secondary treatment methods to treat the liquid so it’s clean enough to go into a river or stream.


Discharges from septic tanks directly to surface water are not allowed under the general binding rules.

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, or when you sell your property if before this date.

If the Environment Agency finds evidence that your septic tank discharging to surface water is causing pollution, you will need to replace or upgrade your system earlier than 1 January 2020. You will usually have to do this within 1 year, although this will be agreed on a case-by-case basis

What are my options?

  • Sometimes it is possible to install an infiltration system which allows the septic tank to discharge to the ground instead of surface water.
  • If a mains sewer is in the vacinity it may be possible to conect the drainage into this
  • The septic tank can be replaced with a small sewage treatment plant

The full details are available on the .gov website which can be found here

Example of a new treatment plant installation

Here is an example of a new treatment plant which we installed due to the failure of the old septic tank

New Treatment Plant Project

Contact us:

If you think you may fall foul of the new rules or just need some advice regarding your current septic tank system please feel free to contact us on 01253 811181 or you can email us Here

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