Small Sewage Treatment Plant
Are you affected by the new General Binding Rules? Does your
property have a septic tank that discharges into surface water?
If you are unsure, or the answer to either of those questions is
yes, then get in touch with us to find out more about options for installing a
new small sewage treatment plant so that you can comply with the new regulations
and help to reduce the level of pollution from sewage in the nation’s
watercourses. Under the General Binding Rules, anyone with a septic tank
discharging into a watercourse must replace it, or upgrade it by 1 January 2020,
or sooner if the property is sold before this date, or if the Environment Agency
(EA) finds that it is causing pollution.
Additional information about the General Binding Rules:
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
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
If the amount of sewage the system needs to treat increases (for
example, 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).
Environment agency information
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