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Understanding the New Laws Around the Septic Tank General Binding Rules

10th January 2020

Understanding the New Laws Around the Septic Tank General Binding Rules

On January 1st 2020, the new laws regarding septic tanks and the disposal of their contents came into action. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, if you are responsible for a septic tank then these new laws are something you need to be aware of.

Who do the law changes apply to?

  • Just England – laws in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are different
  • Homeowners and business owners with septic tanks that currently discharge into a soakaway or watercourse

Remember: you now cannot sell your property if you have a septic tank that does not comply with the new regulations.

How has the law changed?

Originally, it was completely legal for the contents of a septic tank to be discharged straight into a watercourse or a soakaway, without any filtering or additional treatment being required – this is no longer the case.

The new law states that your septic tank must now comply with one of these two options:

  • Become a sewage treatment plant that meets full BS EN 12566-1 certification
  • Stop and divert into a drainage field, designed and constructed to current British standards BS6297:2007.


You may also need a permit for your septic tank but you can find out more information about that on the government website.

Although the law changes may sound daunting, the solutions are actually quite straightforward. There isn’t a lot of flexibility, so the best way to move forward is to get expert help.

Metro Rod are here to help  

Metro Rod have a team of engineers who specialise in septic tank management, experienced in services such as:

  • emptying septic tanks
  • septic tank waste disposal
  • maintenance including repairs


The engineers across all of our depots can offer free site assessments to properties with septic tanks. During these visits, we help you understand any changes that need making to your septic tank set-up to make it compliant with new laws, as well as offering you a maintenance plan to ensure your septic tank remains in good working order.

If you need help understanding the new septic tank laws, or any other aspect of septic tank management, get in touch with your local Metro Rod depot today.


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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