The requirement to register small domestic sewage discharges from septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants has changed in England.
Whilst the government is planning a consultation on the regulation option, you don't need to register providing your:
- discharge is to ground and is of 2 cubic metres per day or less via a septic tank and infiltration system (soakaway) and is outside a source protection zone 1. This is approximately equivalent to 9 people occupying a single property
- discharge is to surface water and is of 5 cubic metres per day or less via a package sewage treatment plant. This is approximately equivalent to 31 people occupying a single property
- sewage is only domestic (for the definition of domestic see the registration of small sewage discharges in England document in the downloads box)
- sewage system is maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions (if not, British Water codes of practice and technical guides) and you keep a record of all maintenance. In the case of septic tanks this includes regular emptying
- discharge does not cause pollution of surface water or groundwater
Check if you're in a groundwater source protection zone 1:
Or check if you are within 50 metres of a private water supply that is used to supply drinking water or used for food production. This could be your own private supply or you may have to ask your neighbours if they have one.
If you are planning a new discharge to ground or surface water, you may need a permit if it will be in or near to a designated habitat or wildlife site. If you are unsure, telephone customer service on 03708 506 506*
*Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls. These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone.
You must apply for a permit if you can't meet these conditions whilst the consultation is underway:.
You still have the option to register a small domestic sewage discharge due to a house sale:
The existing registration system remains in place for Wales: