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Septic tank rules

Septic tanks have the potential to cause long-term damage to the country's natural water infrastructure and wildlife.

It is not surprising that new rules and a code of conduct have been introduced to prevent the effects of wastewater pollution; The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2014 came into force on 1 January 2015 creating the General Binding Rules (GBRs) for septic tanks or small sewage treatment plants for domestic use. These rules are designed to reduce the level of pollution from sewage in the nation's watercourses.

The rules state that any existing septic tank discharging to surface water, i.e.; to a water ditch, stream or river, etc, must either be upgraded or replaced with a new package sewage treatment plant by 1 January 2020.

Guidance on general binding rules for small sewage discharge to a surface water is available on GOV.UK (opens new window) .  Please note that these new rules are not enforced by Building Control, but you may have issues selling your property in the future if it is not addressed.