What to do if your home is not connected to a public foul sewer in Wales.
Your home may use a septic tank or package treatment plant to deal with your domestic sewage because it cannot be connected to the public sewerage system.
If your home or property is in Wales and has a septic tank or package sewage treatment plant, it must be registered with us.
For most people this is free and a one-off registration, subject to certain criteria:
- If your septic tank discharges into a soakaway in the ground and the property or properties has less than nine people living there.
- If your package sewage treatment plant discharges to a watercourse, and the property or proprieties has less than 27 people living there.
- If the sewage system is not near a protected or designated area for the environment or groundwater supply. For example, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or a Source Protection Zone for drinking water. We can check this for you once we have received your application.
If you meet the above criteria please follow the instructions on this page.
If you do not meet the above criteria you will need to apply for an Environmental Permit:
Why we need you to register
Most septic tanks or package sewage treatment plants do not cause problems if they are well designed, installed and maintained.
The discharge from poorly maintained systems could:
- pollute rivers, streams or underground water
- contaminate sources of drinking water
- harm nature conservation sites.
It is very important that septic tanks and package sewage treatment systems are kept in good order by their owners.
Knowing the location of septic tanks will help our officers check for poorly maintained septic tanks that could be causing pollution and seek a solution.
How to register
The Welsh Government has advised that septic tanks and small sewage treatment plant discharges in Wales will need to be registered.
You can choose to register online, by email or by post.
To register, you will need to provide us with the following information:
- Your name and address.
- The address of the property where the discharge is being made, including the post code and a National Grid Reference for the discharge (see below for details).
- Whether the discharge is existing (before 6 April 2010) or new (after 6 April 2010).
- The type of sewage system you have (septic tank or package sewage treatment plant).
- Whether you are discharging to the ground or to a watercourse.
- For discharges to ground, confirm that the discharge is not within 50 metres of a well or borehole that is used to supply water.
- Download the guidance document for registering in Wales (PDF, 56KB)
This is the simplest and quickest way to register:
You can also register by email by downloading this form and typing your details directly into it:
Once you've completed it, please email it back to us at:
Help with your application
If you have any questions about your registration please telephone us on 03708 506 506 (Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm).
IMPORTANT: Our online system requires cookies to be enabled on your computer. Many users will have them enabled as standard as many internet services such as social media require them.
If you are unable to move past the first page of our online system, and believe you are typing in the word you're asked for correctly, then we recommend that first you check your cookies are enabled. This is a setting within your Internet Browser; the help button in your browser should provide you with guidance on how to do this.
You can find more information about cookies on our website:
Specific advice for your browser can also be found on here:
How do I get a National Grid Reference?
To find out the grid reference go to:
- Enter your postcode.
- Locate the position of your septic tank.
- Click the right hand button on your mouse at this location.
- Your 12 digit grid reference will appear.
If you do not have access to the internet, you could look for your grid reference by using an Ordnance Survey map. Or you could supply us with a small map showing the point of discharge. If you are unable to provide this information for any reason, then we may contact you to help with this after we have received your application.
What happens next?
We will inform you within 15 working days (three weeks) if your registration has been successful. If you apply online it will usually be much sooner.
If we cannot accept the registration for any reason we will let you know. You may need to apply for an environmental permit. There is a one-off charge for a permit application for a small sewage discharge. This is our 'reduced application fee', which is currently £125.
Further details on our fees and charges can be found on our charges pages: