Compare Listings

New Septic Tank Regulations Coming January 1st 2020

There are many properties throughout the UK with septic tanks. However, they are most common in rural areas where homes cannot easily be connected to the main sewer line. Having a septic tank is extremely beneficial, but it is also a huge responsibility and something that must be taken seriously as a well-maintained septic tank system is important for the effective running of your property.

What’s more, as of January 1st 2020, there will be some new septic tank regulations coming into play. So, to help make sure you’re prepared for all eventualities, we thought we’d outline everything you need to know about the new regulations and what they mean for you in this article.

Contact a Reputable Professional to Get the Job Done

Whenever you’re having a septic tank installed, it is important the installation is carried out by a professional. An expert installer will ensure your septic tank is installed in accordance with the new regulations so that you don’t need to worry about meeting the proper requirements. If you’re having a septic tank installed or an old one replaced, always contact a reputable drainage professional.

It’s Your Septic Tank and It’s Your Responsibility

There is no way around it, if you own a septic tank it is your responsibility to ensure you’re following all the rules and regulations. The quality and hygienic impact of your septic tank’s waste disposal methods depends entirely on correct installation and maintenance. If your septic tank is causing pollution to the environment in any way, such as draining into surface water, you could be liable for the damage and you are certainly responsible.

If you own a septic tank or you have one on your property, it is also your responsibility to ensure the following:

  • Your septic tank access lids are secure and in god working order.
  • Your septic tank is properly maintained.
  • Any drains leading to and from the septic tank, including the soakaway, are free-flowing and free from blockages.
  • If your septic tank is not regularly maintained in the proper way, it may fail and cause foul odours, flooding, pollution, and other health risks.

Properly Dispose of Septic Tank Waste

With the new regulations coming in 1st January 2020, one of the most important things to remember is that your septic tank must only be emptied by a licensed waste disposal company. This means that it cannot be emptied by a local farmer or yourself, it must only be emptied by a qualified expert. If you empty your septic tank yourself or allow another unlicensed person to do so, this is considered a crime and you could have to face serious repercussions.

New Rules for Discharging into Surface Water

Discharging into surface water has always been a concern, especially when it came to impact on the environment and pollution. As of 1st January 2020, discharging into surface water will be banned. If the Environment Agency discovers you are still discharging your septic tank waste into surface water after this time, you will be liable for any environmental damage and pollution caused.

If you find that you are unable to upgrade your system in time, there are some alternate options that may be available to you:

  • Connect to the mains sewer (if and where available)
  • Install a drainage field so that the septic tank can discharge directly into the ground instead.
  • Replace your septic tank with a small sewage treatment plant.
  • You can only apply for a permit to discharge sewage into surface water (however, permits are only granted in exceptional circumstances).

The New Regulations and What They Mean for Installation

As has been previously mentioned, septic tank installation must only be carried out by a licensed professional to ensure that all the new regulations are followed. However, when having a septic tank installed, it is your responsibility to contact two local authorities: Building Control and The Environmental Agency to inform them of your installation. Both of these authorities will also provide you with all the help and information you need during the installation period.

If you are installing a brand new septic tank system on your property for the very first time, it is worth noting the following points:

  • Planning permission
  • Approval from building regulations

The Required Standards for New Systems

The required installation standards for new septic tank systems are as follows:

  • BS EN 12566 for small sewage treatment plants
  • BS 6297: 2007 for drainage fields

What’s more, your septic tank will have to meet the British Standards at the time of installation and include the following:

  • It has a CE mark.
  • The manual or other documentation that came with your tank or treatment plant has a certificate of compliance with a British Standard.
  • It is on British Water’s list of approved equipment.

Ensure Your Septic Tank is the Right Capacity

One of the most important considerations when having a septic tank installed, is that is must have the capacity to serve your requirements. That is, your septic tank must be big enough to comfortably remove all the waste from your property. Therefore, if you have a lot of people living in your home it is worth investing in a bigger tank so that all waste disposal needs can be comfortably dealt with.


One of the most important considerations is having a septic tank installed that has the capacity to serve your requirements. To put it simply, your septic tank has to be big enough to comfortably serve your property’s requirements. So, if you have a lot of people living in your home it is worth investing in a big septic tank.

Is Planning Permission Required for a Septic Tank

One of the most common questions asked regarding septic tanks is that of planning permission, is it required for the installation? While planning permission may not be required for all homes in the UK, if a septic tank is being installed as part of a new build property, planning permission is definitely required.

Find Out More About Septic Tank Regulations

We hope this article has been informative and that it has answered your questions about the new septic tank regulations coming 1st January 2020. However, if you would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to visit the website for more information.  




Related posts

The pros and cons of buying property in UK

Over the years, many investors from the US and Asia have moved to the UK in search of lucrative...

Continue reading
by admin

5 ways to save up a mortgage deposit

Buying a house is an incredibly big step in life. And not just that, it can be pretty taxing trying...

Continue reading
by admin

Real estate trends in Europe for 2019

The new year will always dictate new trends. At least to some extent. There is a tradition that...

Continue reading
by admin

Join The Discussion