As the first month of 2019 is over, DALROD would like to remind those with existing treatment plants or planning to install a new plant of the new legislation which comes into effect on January 1st 2020.

The government has issued new legislation detailing how we discharge sewage to surface water areas. It has now been enforced that all sewage that is released to surface water areas must use a small sewage treatment plant to treat the sewage. A small sewage treatment plant (also known as a package treatment plant) uses mechanical parts to treat the liquid so it’s clean enough to go into a river or stream.

Pic: DALROD Installation of a treatment plant

Discharges from septic tanks directly to surface water are not allowed under the general binding rules. If you have a septic tank that discharges directly to surface water you will need to replace or upgrade your treatment system by 1 January 2020. Where properties with septic tanks that discharge directly to surface water are sold before 1 January 2020, responsibility for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system should be addressed between the buyer and seller as a condition of sale.

If the Environment Agency finds evidence that your septic tank discharging to surface water area is causing pollution, you will need to replace or upgrade your system earlier than 1 January 2020.

You may be able to:

  • connect to mains sewer – where available
  • install a drainage field (also known as an infiltration system) so the septic tank can discharge to ground instead
  • replace your septic tank with a small sewage treatment plant

If you would like to discuss this new legislation or discuss your options please don’t hesitate to contact our specialist team on 0845 22 37 112 or email




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