Septic tank regulations are set to change in England as of 1 January 2020 and homeowners will not be able to sell their house after this date if their septic tank is not compliant.
The changes to the law under the General Binding Rules direct that owners of septic tank types which discharge direct into surface water or a watercourse (such as a ditch, stream, canal or river) must replace or upgrade their drainage either when they sell their property, or before 1 January 2020, whichever is sooner.
Who Do the New Septic Tank Rules Affect?
Not everyone who owns a septic tank which discharges to a watercourse will need to take action. If the tank has a drainage field which functions effectively, away from a water course, then they will be operating within the law.
All sewage treatment plants (STPs) with full certification are exempt from the regulations.
However, all septic tanks that discharge into surface water or water courses will have to be either replaced by a sewage treatment plant with full BS EN 12566-3 Certification, or the discharge into the water course will need to be stopped and diverted.
As reported in the October 2019 edition of Homebuilding & Renovating by Dave Vincent, commercial director for Kingspan Klargester, the market response to the changes is “one of confusion and frustration on the part of septic tank owners that they haven’t been warned about the impending changes.”
While the rules were first published in June 2015 it appears that awareness is far from widespread, and now that the January deadline is looming homeowners are being encouraged to ensure that their septic tank is compliant.
Check Your Septic Tank Now
Consulting with your septic tank manufacturer can help you understand whether you need to take action, particularly if you live near a watercourse.
Kingspan Klargester has set up a hotline to provide one-to-one guidance to all homeowners and self builders concerned about the compliance of their tank. If there is any concern that there could be a breach of the new regulations, then the homeowner will be offered a free, on-site assessment from a Kingspan Klargester expert.
You can ring the Kingspan Klargester hotline or 01296 633033 or visit its website for septic tank guidance.