Have you got one of those old ‘septic tank’ thingies?

Have you got one of those old ‘septic tank’ thingies?
Have you got one of those old ‘septic tank’ thingies?

2020 deadline allows property owners to upgrade their tanks

With Mike Papps, partner, BCM Rural Property Specialists, Winchester

The deadline is fast approaching to meet new environmental regulations standards requiring many rural homeowners to upgrade their septic tanks.

Installing a new septic tank which discharges into a watercourse has been banned for many years; however, those with an existing tank had been allowed to carry on using it.

‘The new General Binding Rules (GBRs) relate to septic tanks and small domestic sewage treatment plants and seek to end the historic practice of sewage being discharged directly into watercourses by January 1, 2020,’ explains Mike Papps, partner at BCM Rural Property Specialists in Winchester.

‘The government’s aim is to reduce pollution in natural watercourses and the 2020 deadline allows property owners to upgrade their tanks to satisfy government initiatives.

‘Septic tank conversion units can be used to upgrade an existing surface water discharging septic tank, but a permit is required and evidence must ensure that it will treat waste to the equivalent level as a sewage treatment plant.
‘The key issue is that the deadline becomes immediate for any property being sold before January 1, 2020.
‘Vendors failing to meet the standards risk delaying or even losing a sale.

‘Owners should have their tanks surveyed and upgraded where needed by compliant contractors well in advance of the deadline, when a likely rush could bring a shortage of both components and contractors with the time and skills to fit them.’

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