septic tank

New Septic Tank Regulations in England & Wales deadline approaching

From January 1, 2020, the new septic tank regulations will be in place for England and Wales.

All septic tank types that discharge to surface water will require either upgrading or replacement with a sewage treatment plant.

Under the new code of practice by the Environment Agency, homeowners are responsible for the installation and required maintenance of the sewage treatment system on their property, and to limit its impact on the local environment.

Septic tanks can no longer discharge directly into a watercourse must upgrade their sewage treatment system by January 1, 2020, or sooner if the property is going up for sale before this deadline. The tank will also require replacement if the Environmental Agency (EA) finds that it is causing pollution.

In accordance with these regulations, a septic tank or wastewater treatment plant has to meet British Standards BS EN 12566, while any drainage field is required to meet BS EN 6297:2007 standards. The new rules aim to reduce the level of pollution present in national waterways by better controlling and regulating discharge requirements to a watercourse.

The goal is to significantly reduce the level of pollution currently present in national waterways through better control and regulation of discharge requirements to a watercourse. This upgrade to your sewage treatment system must be in place by January 1, 2020, or when you sell the property (if selling before this date).

If buying or selling a property before the 2020 deadline, you are legally required to inform any potential buyers in writing if the property has a septic tank as well as provide all information regarding maintenance requirements and the location of the system.

The Environmental Agency will carry out inspections to enforce the adoption of the new rules. If found to be currently polluting surface water due to discharge from a septic tank, you will be required to install a new system before the deadline.

Any system installed before 1983, prior and the establishment of current standards will most likely need replacement. An existing unit requires the following to be compliant;

  • CE certificate
  • Compliance with BS standards
  • Unit and soakaway system to have been installed correctly
  • Regular maintenance and emptying

For additional information about the 2020 changes to the septic tank regulations, visit

Source: The Loadstar /

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