General Binding rules
General binding rules: small sewage discharge to a surface water
Rules you must follow if your septic tank or small sewage discharge treatment plant releases (discharges) liquid to a surface water.
Use the correct treatment system
You must use a small sewage treatment plant to treat the sewage if you’re discharging to a surface water such as a river or stream. A small sewage treatment plant (also known as a package treatment plant) uses mechanical parts to treat the liquid so it’s clean enough to go into a river or stream.
Discharges from septic tanks directly to a surface water are not allowed under the general binding rules.
If you have a septic tank that discharges directly to a surface water you will need to replace or upgrade your treatment system by 1 January 2020. Where properties with septic tanks that discharge directly to surface water are sold before 1 January 2020, responsibility for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system should be addressed between the buyer and seller as a condition of sale.
If the Environment Agency finds evidence that your septic tank discharging to a 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.
You may be able to:
- connect to mains sewer – where available
- install a drainage field (also known as an infiltration system) so the septic tank can discharge to ground instead
- replace your septic tank with a small sewage treatment plant
EDS can offer a full design package including free advice and site visit to ensure that your property adheres to the above Government Legislation. Call us today for your no obligation chat.