Anyone who owns a home where the drainage is effected to a septic tank, or anyone in the course of buying such a property, needs to be aware that regulations which come into force on 1st January 2020, specify that it will no longer be legal for the final outflow from a septic tank to pass to surface water (e.g. stream, river or drainage dyke) after that date.
The regulations specify that it will still be legal for discharge to surface water to be made from a Small Sewage Treatment Plant (also known as a Package Treatment Plant). Such a system uses mechanical parts to treat the liquid so that it is clean enough to discharge into a river or stream.
Accordingly if you have a septic tank which discharges directly to surface water, you will need to replace/upgrade your treatment system by 1st January 2020 to a Small Sewage Treatment Plant.
If you are looking to purchase a property with a septic tank which drains to surface water before 1st January 2020 then you need to address the issue with the vendor, and may wish to consider instructing a specialist to inspect the current system, and advise on the likely cost of a replacement or upgrade.
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