07557 652 988 barry@tlppc.co.uk

Septic Tanks Compliance and Management

Septic Tanks including Small Sewage Treatment Plants are installed to treat and discharge sewage* where there is no feasible connection facility to a public sewer and their use is governed by the “general binding rules” along with standards, regulations and permits.

When installed and managed correctly within the set legal framework, septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants efficiently treat sewage and avoid creating water pollution or harm to the environment.

We will help you protect the planet, ensuring you don’t inadvertently pollute and also protect yourselves, by being compliant with current legislation

Unfortunately, problems are often only realised when a pollution is identified or during the critical stages of a property sale and/or purchase. We can establish peace of mind and assess you homes and premises and advise of any action needed in the management of your sewage system and then, if required, cost effectively support you through the process of compliance.

*It is a requirement that the defined sewage must be domestic in nature e.g. from a house toilet, bathroom, kitchen or from a business (such as a pub, hotel or office) and not cause pollution.

understanding your septic tank or small sewage treatment plant

If you are considering or currently marketing a property and do not have an understanding of your septic tank or small sewage treatment plant the following information is a brief overview, but please contact us if you are at all unsure. Permits can be time consuming and could impact on your sale or purchase so please act now.

As a first step of evaluating your understanding, if you are an operator** of a septic tank or a small sewage treatment plant It is essential that you know what and where it is and where it discharges to? 

You are required to be;

1. Maintaining by emptying at least once a year by a registered waste carrier

2. Inspecting monthly by checking for;
       – sewage smells or signs of sewage failing to drain properly if discharging to a drainage field (ground)
       – sewage smells, overflowing sludge, signs of white scum or foam at and around the discharge point if connecting directly to       
          surface water

3. Keeping records for the above activity with your installation information including any repairs, incidents or complaints and any corresponding corrective actions.


** You are classed as an operator if; you own the property that uses the system, you own a property that shares the system with other properties – each property owner is an operator, and you’re jointly responsible for complying with the general binding rules or you have a written agreement with the property owner that says you’re responsible for the system’s maintenance, for example you’re renting and it’s in your tenancy agreement.

Have you increased your discharge volumes?

Under certain circumstances you may require an environmental permit and it is important that volume trigger points are considered when adding bedrooms or increasing activities e.g. extending the restaurant capacities and daily covers. Changes may mean you no longer meet the “general binding rules” and you need a permit.

The Little Planet Protection Company can take away the stress and uncertainty and assess and assist you through the correct application process including liaising with external bodies like the Environment Agency.

You will need a permit when discharging to ground;

If you discharge to ground inside a ground water protection zone (SPZ1) regardless of volume.

Outside a ground water protection zone – if your daily calculated discharge is over 2 cubic metres.

Buying or selling a property with a septic tank

If you are buying or selling a property with a septic tank that discharges directly to a watercourse, you should agree with the buyer or seller who will be responsible for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system. You should agree this as a condition of sale.

Direct surface water discharge should only be from a treatment plant you should not discharge the waste from a septic tank directly into a water course as it requires secondary treatment to prevent pollution. Along with upgrading to a suitable small sewage treatment plant the permit processes understanding and processes will be driven by the calculated discharge volumes and surface water environment and type; we can guide you and manage all or part of this process.

We believe that a lot of a little all adds up for a cleaner world and a healthier bank balance.