New Plans to Deregulate Domestic Sewage Systems

Blog Septic Tank

Over the last few months the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have been consulting on making changes to the regulations on domestic sewage systems in England. DEFRA has set out a clear objective of extending its risk-based approach to permitting. It represents a new focus on environmental permitting that will only be required in or near designated sensitive areas such as national and local nature reserves or sites of protected species and habitats.

What Does This Mean?

It means that the regulations surrounding discharges from domestic sewage systems will no longer be in place. However, although discharges such as these will not require permits, they would still be subject to general binding rules specifying that the system must be properly installed and maintained.  [MORE ON OUR MAINTENANCE & REPAIR SERVICE]

The term ‘domestic sewage systems’ is used loosely and also refers to schools, restaurants, takeaways, nursing homes and holiday parks that are off-mains drainage. It does not, however, include industrial discharges, estates or larger commercial businesses.

DEFRA estimates that these changes will affect around 400,000 sites.

How will it Affect You?

If you or your business has a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant that only produces small volumes of discharge, whilst you are responsible for ensuring the system continues to undergo regular maintenance checks, you will no longer be obliged to keep maintenance records or notify the Environment Agency if your system stops working.

The changes will officially take effect as of January 2015.

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