Since 2015, when the Environment Agency announced new regulations for septic tanks, it gave homeowners and businesses until 2020 to replace or upgrade their offline wastewater systems. Anybody not adhering to the recent Septic Tank General Binding Rules can now end up with a hefty fine or even criminal prosecution.
Septic Tanks: what are the General Binding Rules?
The septic tank regulations cover new and existing septic tanks systems. Simply put, they prevent you from discharging wastewater straight from a septic tank into the watercourse. Most wastewater is discharged into the mains sewer system, which carries it to a local sewage treatment works. However, septic tank systems are not connected to the mains sewer network, so they need to be discharged safely and within regulated guidelines.
Wastewater could previously be discharged into either a drainage field or a natural watercourse. The new septic tank guidelines now prohibit you from discharging (disposing) wastewater directly into a watercourse, such as a ditch or stream, and any household with a septic tank must either:
- connect to the main sewer
- install sewage treatment works
- discharge any waste into a drainage field that meets the British Standard BS6297 2007
Where can I find out about the septic tanks and their regulations?
If you have a septic tank system or are considering a septic tank installation project, it’s important you read the Environment Agency’s Septic Tank General Binding Rules 2020.
This highlights everything you need to know about septic tank regulations, including, septic tank cleaning guidelines, septic tank installation rules, septic tank maintenance regulations, selling properties with septic tanks which aren’t connected to main sewage treatment works, and what to do if you stop using septic tank systems or want to install a small sewage treatment plant. The regulations address all aspects of septic tank installation and upkeep so, if you have any concerns about your drainage services or think you may need a drainage groundworks review, just give us a call.
Falling foul of the rules?
If you have offline wastewater systems and have not actively renewed or upgraded your system to meet the septic tank regulations, it is of paramount importance that you contact a drainage contractor like Drain Power Ltd (or our sister company Wilkinson Environmental Ltd that covers The Midlands) who can assess your septic tank systems and carry out any drainage or septic tank installation services.
Any property owners or business not meeting the septic tank regulations is at risk of financial and criminal penalties.
The rules for septic tanks
The septic tank regulations include rules regarding the quality and maintenance of existing offline wastewater systems, sewage tank emptying, as well as septic tank cleaning and installation. Under the recent regulations, you must make sure septic tank cleaning is carried out regularly and any repairs to drainage installations are completed by competent drainage contractors like Drain Power Ltd. We have crews specialising in septic tank cleaning, repairs, and maintenance across Windsor – Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Surrey. And our drainage engineers are trained to follow the regulations for septic tank cleaning and maintenance. For more information just get in touch.