The General Binding rules are a set of rules that you must follow if you use a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant. The rules are in place in order to protect the environment and ensure the safe operation of sewage treatment systems for both the general public and the environment.
We know that legislation regarding sewage treatment can be daunting for homeowners. We’ll do our best to explain the General Binding Rules below, but, if you have any concerns with regards to the General Binding Rules for your septic tank or sewage treatment plant please do not hesitate to contact our team.
General Binding Rules
Updates To General Binding Rules
General Binding Rules were updated in 2015 when it was stated that newly installed sewage treatment systems must not, under any circumstances, discharge untreated sewage into an open watercourse. Following on from this, by January 2020 all homeowners were expected to have replaced existing sewage systems in order to comply with the General Binding Rules.
We know updates to any legislation can be confusing and daunting. Therefore, if you have concerns about the updated 2020 septic tank legislation please call our team on 01794 517 770. Alternatively, you can read more here.
Use the correct treatment system
In line with the General Binding Rules you must use a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant to treat sewage and then discharge the effluent (treated sewage) to ground via a drainage field. Under no circumstances must this drain into an open watercourse.
You cannot use a soakaway, borehole or well to drain effluent, therefore, you must upgrade this to a drainage field.
Meeting The Right British Standard
Your sewage treatment system must meet the British Standard that was in force at the time of your installation. The current standards in force for new systems are:
- BS EN 12566 for septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants
- BS 6297:2007 for drainage fields
Always check with the drainage company you are using that they are installing the system to these standards. At Proseptic, we install all sewage treatment systems in line with the standards in force at the time of drainage installations.
To check whether your drainage system meets the regulations in place at the time of installation, check for the following:
- Whether your septic tank has a CE mark
- If the manual or other documentation that came with your tank or treatment plant has a certificate of compliance with a British Standard
- The system is on British Water’s list of approved equipment
Correct Installation and Capacity
In order for septic tanks and sewage treatment systems to work safely and compliantly they must be installed correctly as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, and, they must be installed by a fully qualified company.
Your septic tank must also be the correct size to handle the amount of waste that your property produces. If your amount of waste, or the amount of inhabitants at your property increases, then your septic tank must be adjusted accordingly by an expert.
Selling A Property With A Septic Tank
If you are selling a property with a septic tank then you must tell the new property owner that there is a septic tank in place. You must also inform them:
- What type of treatment or drainage system you have installed
- The location of the sewage treatment system
- Details of any changes made to the drainage system
- Details of how the drainage system should be maintained
- Supply them with maintenance records if you have them
Septic Tank Maintenance and Emptying
In line with the General Binding Rules your septic tank, sewage treatment plant or drainage field should always be emptied regularly (usually annually).
In addition to regular emptying, your septic tank or drainage system should also undergo regular maintenance and servicing by a professional team. Problems with your drainage system can cause risk to the general public, serious harm to the environment and damage to your property or grounds.
If you’re worried about the signs of drainage problems, we have more information here. Alternatively, if you think your septic system is experiencing problems, please contact our team as a matter of urgency.
Septic Tank Decommissioning
If you stop using your sewage treatment system you must have this decommissioned by a professional company in order to prevent pollution or danger the the surrounding environment.
Proseptic and The General Binding Rules
At Proseptic, our team of drainage engineers are well versed on the General Binding Rules and we stringently follow this legislation across all of our drainage services.
Whatever work we complete at your property, you can be assured that it complies with the latest legislation and is safe for use.
If you would like more information on the General Binding Rules, head to the Gov.uk site. Alternatively, if you are concerned your drainage system does reply, or you have further questions on drainage legislation then don’t hesitate to get in touch using the form above or by calling 01794 517 770.