Residential Property Update July 2018 – Septic tanks

News Posted: August 5, 2019

In rural areas such as Shropshire and surrounding counties it is common for properties to include a septic tank. If you have a septic tank or sewage treatment plant on your property then under The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1154) (EP) there are a number of requirements that need to be met.

Since 1st January 2015 property owners In England have not been required to register the septic tank or sewage treatment plant (unless it is in a sensitive area). Crucially though, this does not apply to properties located in Wales, where the tank must still be registered.

In addition, under the regulations there is an exemption for Small Sewage Discharges from domestic septic tanks from the usual requirement to have an environmental permit. This exemption applies on the basis that most discharges from domestic properties do not cause environmental problems. However, please note this is only applicable if the septic tank:

  • Is well maintained and designed and there is evidence it has been maintained and emptied by an authorised competent person. This person must be a registered waste carrier;
  • Has a maximum volume discharge of 2 cubic metres a day (groundwater) or 5 cubic metres a day (surface water);
  • Is not located in the Inner Protection Zone. This is an area defined by the Environment Agency for groundwater sources such as wells, boreholes and springs that are used for public drinking water supply;
  • Does not discharge into surface waters (this does not apply if you have a sewage treatment plant);
  • Cannot possibly be discharged into the public sewage system; and
  • Does not discharge near a sensitive area for protection of the environmental or a groundwater source.

If you have any questions or queries about the above, or any other residential property matters, then please do not hesitate to contact our team on 01743 248545 or email and we can discuss your situation in more detail.

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