Septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants

If you are not connected to the main foul sewer then you probably have a septic tank or package sewage treatment plant. The discharge from these are classed as a small discharge. A small discharge must be less than 2 cubic metres per day, which is equivalent to a single property with up to 9 people living there. Small discharges can cause pollution to drains, brooks and rivers if they are not properly maintained or if there are clusters of them.

It is important for the Environment Agency to know where these systems are so they can focus on where they are causing environmental problems. The Environment Agency now requires the registration of septic tanks and package works under regulations that were made in 2010. However, they are now reviewing this requirement with the Government. Whilst the review is being done they will not require mandatory registration of small domestic sewage discharges although householders can still register if they wish.

If your home has a septic tank or a package sewage treatment plant and you want to register then you can do so on line with the Environment Agency system. This is the simplest and quickest way. Or by telephoning them on 03708 506506 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm). Registration is free and you only need to do it once.

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