The 2020 Septic Tank Regulation Changes

If you have a property with a septic tank, there are some changes to the law coming in 2020 that may impact you. Don’t wait until then to investigate these, as you may have to take action now to be compliant when they come in!

2020 Septic Tank Regulation Changes

By 1st January 2020 your septic tank will no longer be allowed to discharge directly to a surface water such as a river or a stream. If your Septic tank currently discharges to a drainage field (soakaway) into the ground, at present you will not be affected by these changes.

If your septic tank is currently discharging directly into a surface water don’t panic but read on to get a grasp of your options moving forward. But do make sure you pick the best option for you as doing nothing means you will find yourself in breach of the regulations from January 1st, 2020. This is a legal requirement so should be taken seriously.

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Depending on your location, land and situation you could look to implement one of the following:

If possible, you could look to connect your septic tank to a mains sewer.

This is probably the least likely option but should not be ruled out, a septic tank was most likely installed because there was no prospect to join your property to mains drainage at the time it was built. However, development of land around you since may well have opened this up as an option, contacting your local water company will answer this question for you.

Change the discharge from its current location and install a drainage field and divert your septic tank to discharge to ground.

If you have the land available this is likely the cheapest and easiest way to make your sewage system compliant with the upcoming 2020 regulations. This involves installing a soakaway into the ground which your septic tank would discharge to and compete its final treatment before soaking into the ground. This however is not a full-term solution as generally a soakaway only has a lifespan of around 25 years before it would need replacing.

Replace your septic tank with a small sewage treatment plant, which will comply with the new regulations and allow you to continue to discharge to surface water.

This is most likely going to be your best choice of action, a new sewage treatment plant, specified to your exact requirements and compliant to BS EN 12566 standards will allow you to continue to discharge to a water course by treating all effluent to the requirements needed.

Each of these come with their own considerations and you should seek advice to ensure you are making the correct decision for your specific requirements.

You must make sure you meet all the requirements by January 1st 2020 or before if you intend to sell the property. If this is the case you must provide your buyer with written documentation of what you have done to ensure compliance along with details of how you system works and where/how it discharges it final effluent.

If you are at all unsure of how to proceed do not hesitate to contact us or the environment agency and we will be happy to discuss your circumstances and requirements with you.

Our Accreditations

Why choose Clearmasters Environmental for your Septic Tank Needs?

  • Varying sizes of sewage tankers to cover all your needs
  • Liquid waste disposal specialists
  • All lorries compliant with new low emission zones in London.
  • Professional and Reliable Service
  • Extremely Competitive Pricing
  • Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff
  • Fully Licensed Waste Carriers
  • Checkatrade and Surrey Trading Standards Approved
  • Achilles UVDB Accredited
  • 24 Hour Emergency Tanker Service
  • Drain Jetting Specialists
  • Qualified High Pressure Jetting Engineers

With many years of experience in the industry, we have built an extensive list of clients that return year after year to receive the high level of service we provide.

For a free, no obligation quote for your Septic Tank requirements, please call us on 01737 842509 or click the button below.


As in the past, prompt and reliable. Made an effort to fit my urgent callout into their schedule. Knowledgeable and courteous crew. Would not hesitate to recommend this company.

10/10 Customer in Leatherhead

Excellent service. The operators could not have been more helpful. Both very professional and solution-focused.

10/10 Customer in Cobham

It was so refreshing to have such an excellent service completed to such a high standard. The chaps were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and they have my highest recommendation. I will certainly be using them again for our new build.

10/10 Customer in Horsham

Very good indeed , especially operator Tom French

9/10 Customer in Lingfield

Very efficient. Willing to change the time at short notice to suit us. Prompt and quick service. Also gave informative advice re a new tank.

10/10 Customer in Horley

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