Septic Tank Regulations 2020 – What you need to know!

Septic Tank Regulations are are based on legislation put into place to make sure that owners of Septic Tanks are properly looking after and disposing of Waste. Jettec Environmental want to make sure you’re aware of what regulations are in place and this guide should tell you all you need to know.

Septic Tank Regulations 2020

Regulations change on a regular basis and if you’re looking to buy a property or you own a property which is home to a Septic Tank then you must be aware of the Septic Tank Regulations 2020 which will be coming into effect.

Due to the nature of Septic Tanks Regulations are being put into place in 2020 to make them as environmentally friendly as possible to the eco system. The rules and regulations put into place are done to ensure that the waste which is coming from Septic Tanks is appropriately dealt with in a safe and eco-friendly way.

Rules for existing and new treatment systems

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, or when you sell your property if before this date.

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. 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

Contact the Jettec Team on 0800 023 4487 to discuss your options.

You can apply for a permit for an existing or new discharge to a surface water from a septic tank. A permit is only granted in exceptional circumstances. Contact Jettec on 0800 023 4487 to discuss.

If you’re planning to use a septic tank conversion unit to upgrade an existing septic tank discharging to a surface water Call us on 0800 023 4487 to check it meets the required standard. You will be asked to provide evidence that it will treat to the equivalent standard as a sewage treatment plant. You will still need to apply for a permit.

Your treatment system must meet the right standards

Your treatment system must meet the relevant British Standard which was in force at the time of installation. The standards currently in force for new systems are:
BS EN 12566 for small sewage treatment plants
BS 6297:2007 for drainage fields

Your treatment plant met the British Standard in place at the time of installation if:

it has a CE mark
the manual or other documentation that came with your tank or treatment plant has a certificate of compliance with a British Standard
it’s on British Water’s list of approved equipment
You can also ask the company that installed your equipment to confirm that it complies with the British Standard that was in place at the time the equipment was installed.
If there were no British Standards in place when your treatment system was installed (that is before 1983) you do not need to do anything else to meet this requirement.

Your treatment system must be installed properly and have enough capacity

Your treatment system must be large enough to handle the maximum amount of sewage it will need to treat. If you install a new small sewage treatment plant you must check with the installer that it meets the sizing requirements in British Water’s Flows and Loads 4 guidance.
If the amount of sewage the system needs to treat increases (eg because you’ve extended your property or connected an additional property) you must make sure the treatment system is still big enough. You must also recalculate the maximum daily volume of your discharge and apply for a permit if it is more than 5 cubic metres (5,000 litres) a day.
Your treatment system must be installed in line with the manufacturer’s specification (the instruction manual or technical set of requirements that comes with the equipment).