Septic tanks – why is 2020 a big year?

The countdown has been on since 2015, when the Environment Agency set new regulations for septic tank systems, giving homeowners and businesses until 2020 to replace or upgrade their offline wastewater systems.  Anyone not meeting the Septic Tank General Binding Rules can now end up with a hefty fine or even criminal prosecution.

What are the Septic Tank General Binding Rules?

The new(ish) septic tank regulations cover new and existing septic tank systems. Put simply, they prevent you from discharging wastewater straight from septic tanks into the watercourse.

Most wastewater is discharged into the mains sewer system, which transports it to sewage treatment works. However septic tank systems are not connected to the mains sewers, so need to be discharged safely and within regulated guidelines.

Wastewater could previously be discharged into either a drainage field or a natural watercourse. The new septic tank guidelines now forbid you from discharging wastewater directly into a watercourse, such as a ditch or stream, and those with septic tanks must either:

  1. connect to the main sewer
  2. install sewage treatment works
  3. discharge waste into drainage fields, which meet British Standard BS6297 2007

Where can I read the septic tank regulations?

If you have septic tank systems, it’s important you read the Environment Agency’s Septic Tank General Binding Rules 2020.

This outlines everything you need to know about septic tank regulations, including how your offline wastewater systems should be emptied, septic tank cleaning rules, septic tank installation policies, septic tank maintenance regulations, selling properties with septic tanks which aren’t connected to main sewage treatment works, and what to do if you stop using septic tank systems or want to install a small sewage treatment plant.

The regulations cover all aspects of septic tank installation and upkeep so, if you have any concerns about your drainage services or think you may need a drainage groundworks review, just give us a call.

Are you falling foul of the rules?

If you have offline wastewater systems and have not actively renewed or upgraded your system to meet the septic tank regulations, it is essential you contact drainage services experts like Wilkinson Environmental Ltd, who can assess your septic tank systems and carry out any drainage groundworks or other essential upgrades to your system.

Any homeowner or business not meeting the septic tank regulations is at risk of financial and criminal penalties.

The full rules for septic tanks

The septic tank regulations include a whole host of rules regarding the quality and maintenance of existing offline wastewater systems, septic tank cleaning, and the installation of new septic tank systems and their supporting drainage groundworks.

Under the regulations, you must ensure septic tank cleaning is carried out regularly and any repairs to drainage groundworks are completed by competent drainage services companies like Wilkinson Environmental Ltd.

We have teams specialising in septic tank cleaning, repairs, and maintenance across the Midlands, covering Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Coventry, the West Midlands, and beyond.

And our experts are trained to follow the regulations for septic tank cleaning and maintenance, and can help with anything from drainage services queries to septic tank insurance questions. Just get in touch.