Essential Reading: Septic Tank Regulation – January 2020

Essential Reading: Septic Tank Regulation – January 2020

Written by Sales Director and Head of Country Homes, Ross D'Aniello


Traditionally in January I would review the previous year and cobble together an article trying to predict what will happen in the forthcoming year.  Trust me when I tell you that this is no easy task, especially for 2020!


The good people at The Shropshire Magazine have asked some of the more influential & respected local agents to provide their thoughts on potential market activity in 2020 in an article elsewhere in this wonderful magazine that I have gladly contributed to, so for those who are curious my thoughts are contained in there.  Quite frankly, reading it once will probably be enough!


So, instead I thought I’d provide some information which might very extremely important to some of you.  If you have a septic tank read on; the following information is essential reading.


General Binding Rules: small sewage discharge to a surface water

It’s not exactly catchy but it might apply to you if you have a septic tank that discharges into a watercourse. Up until the end of 2019 you could “discharge” the separated waste water from within the septic tank through one of two ways:  either into a drainage field/soakaway system or into a watercourse such as a stream or river


From January 1st 2020 you are no longer allowed to discharge from a septic tank into a watercourse of any other type of soakaway system other than a drainage field.  The reason for this is that the “quality” of the waste water is no longer considered clean enough to flow straight into local watercourses or soakaway systems without causing pollution.


For a number of years property owners have not been allowed to install a new system that discharges into a watercourse, however provided that your existing septic tank wasn’t identified by the Environment Agency as causing pollution you were not obliged to change it.


This all changed from 1st January this year.


If your septic tank discharges into a watercourse, not a soakaway or drainage field then you must upgrade your system by either swapping your septic tank for a sewage treatment plant or, if possible, you must install a drainage field or soakaway system.


For those who worry that  I am “giving the game away” to buyers this is now regulation and obligatory and solicitors acting on behalf of buyers will no doubt be thorough regarding this matter.  The Property Consultants at Nock Deighton are all thoroughly briefed on this important issue and are well able to provide advice to potential clients who are wishing to sell and may be effected by this. 


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