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Is your Septic Tank breaking the law?

26th February 2020

Is your Septic Tank breaking the law?

Are you up to date with the new septic tank emptying regulations which came into place on 1st January 2020?


What is a septic tank?

If you are not located near a sewage system such as living in a rural area a septic tank is put in place as a small-scale sewage treatment facility. They are underground chamber (usually made from concrete, fibreglass or plastic) that during the process reduce solids and organic material by using a settling and anaerobic process.



Where does it go?

Once it has passed through the septic tank it lead onto a Drainage Field, which is a infiltration system that has a trench with pipes, The pipes are surrounded by a type of drainage stone that continues the process by allowing the wastewater to drip through to the ground to allow the soil bacteria to carry on the wastewater treatment.



Warning! Soakaways, a method for draining water is no longer permitted.

Make sure you check if your septic tank includes a soak away as with the new law you will need to obtain a permit from the environment agency to assess the risk to groundwater otherwise you will have to change to a drainage field.



General Binding Rules

The general binding rules have been put in place in order to protect surface water resource from the pollution produced by septic tanks and other small-scale sewage treatment systems.


If your septic tank discharges directly into a watercourse, Such as:

  • rivers
  • streams
  • canals
  • ditches
  • surface water drains

If your septic tank discharges into any of these, it must be replaced or upgraded as soon as possible.



The regulations your septic tank must abide by

  • Replacing – you must use a sewage treatment plant that has a full BS EN 12566-3 Certification
  • Redirected – discharge to a watercourse must be stopped and diverted to a drainage field that is constructed to the British Standard BS6297 2007.
  • Be CE marked.
  • Documentation proving your tank has a British Standard Certificate of compliance.
  • Be on the British Water list of approved equipment for BS EN 12566-1.
  • To ensure ongoing optimum performance all small-scale sewage systems and septic tanks are recommended to have yearly checks. Metro Rod offers maintenance contracts as well as installation services.


Septic Tank maintenance

Your septic tank must be regularly maintained and emptied as avoiding this will lead to you needing emergency drainage relief due to blockages, bad smells or overspills. It is usually the property owner or resident’s responsibility to instruct this maintenance so make sure you are aware of who’s responsibility it is if you have a septic tank on site. Most septic tanks are left until there is a issue needing attention which unfortunately can be expensive depending on the work needed to be done. Emptying depends on the design capacity, some well designed septic tanks are able to have their regular maintenance along with being emptied every 12 months, If you are unsure of how often to have your septic tank maintained and emptied we can provide a free of charge quote ensuring you won’t be caught off guard with an septic tank emergency.


Misuse and abuse – Management

  • Remember the 3 P’s! Do not flush non-biodegradable waste items down the toilet. (only flush Pee, Poo and Paper)
  • FOG – Do not flush Fat, Oils or Grease down the toilet as this causes blockages and are difficult to degrade causing them to sit and produce bad smells,
  • Do not flush food down the toilet as this will quickly overload the system leading to blockages and overspills.
  • Water softeners harm the bacteria that breaks down the water waste, affecting the whole system


So how can we help?

We are drainage experts with over 30 years’ experience and we deal with septic tank maintenance and emergencies on a daily basis, we have tankers that are to deal with demand of the biggest drainage emergencies that can arise.


Thanks to our growing fleet and workforce we are able to send a tanker to empty your septic tank and dispose of the waste in the most environmentally friendly way with ease. On site we are also able to clean the septic tank at the same time as checking the septic tank is in full working order.


If you are looking for a reliable and efficient drainage or plumbing solution Metro Rod North East are on hand to help you, your business or your home with our trusted services.


Call us on 0191 231 2310 / 01642 616 525

Or enquire via email: [email protected]


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Talk to you local metrorod specialist

Talk to your local Metro Rod specialist

We are always happy to arrange a free site assessment and no obligation quotations for any work you might need. Alternatively, you can call our emergency hotline number on 0800 66 88 00

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