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Septic Tank Cover

2020 Discharge Rules

All Septic Tanks and Sewage Systems must meet Government discharge rules

To help improve the environment, the government wants to stop all septic tanks and failing sewage treatment plants from discharging sewage into the watercourse, such as a rivers, streams, ditches and onto land.

This means owners of these tanks and plants will need to have replaced or upgraded them by 1st January 2020.

I am selling my property – am I affected?

Yes:  If you own a septic tank or sewage treatment plant that discharges sewage into watercourse or open ground, then you will need to replace or upgrade it. This needs to be done, or a plan in place, before exchanging.

typical Septic Tank
typical Septic Tank
Typical Septic Tank
House for sale sign
House for sale sign

Environment Law – Overview

All sewage discharges need to meet environment laws. This is either by obtaining an Environmental Permit or, if it is a small household discharge, you maybe able to operate under General Binding Rules for small sewage discharges.

Here are a few examples from the General Binding rules:

  1. Are you discharging less than 2000 litres a day into a soak-away?
  2. Are you discharging 5000 litres a day into the watercourse?
  3. Does the discharge flow into any environmentally protected zones, such as a Special Site of Scientific Interest, or Ramsar Site?
  4. Is the discharge near or in a source Protection Zone?

If your system can meet the General Binding Rules, you should not need an environmental permit. However, you are still required to have a system that meets the discharge permission you have (either the Binding Rules or Environmental Permit).

The General Binding Rules are vast and complex. We recommend you seek expert advice before making any changes or looking to install a sewage treatment system.

Area of outstanding beauty
Area of outstanding beauty
Protected Area
A small stream running through woodland
A small stream running through woodland

System Health Check!

If you are worried about your system, think you are affected by these regulations, or want to improve your current system then Moody Sewage can help!

We provide a Health Check to owners of septic tanks and treatment plants. This includes our Consultants visiting your property, checking your system’s condition, looking to see if it meets environmental standards and to provide advice. 

We can also provide advice and guidance for any change or work that you wish to undertake. 

Contact Us - To find out how we can help