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Septic Tank 2020 Upgrade Deadline Extension

The 1 January 2020 deadline set by the Government for ensuring septic tanks that met certain criteria were upgraded to modern sewage treatment plants has now been extended for a further 12 months.

What’s changed?

Earlier this year the NFU we’re pleased to announce that, as part of their lobbying activities, they were successful in taking a case to the Environment Agency about their implementation of the rules surrounding septic tanks and the need for an alternative and more lenient approach.

The Environment Agency has amended its guidance to remove the 1 January 2020 deadline for upgrading or replacing septic tanks that discharge directly to a watercourse.

Instead, upon inspection, the EA will now be asking households to update their septic tank systems over certain periods of time, typically 12 months, before looking at penalties and other enforcement proceedings.

This is a more flexible approach than previously seen and a welcomed change to the stance leading up to 2020. You can visit this link for more details about the Environment Agency’s approach to enforcement, sanctions and offences.

Do I still need to upgrade my septic tank?

Whilst the EA has revised its approach to the implementation of the new guidance surrounding septic tanks, the rules for those needing to upgrade their system have not. Therefore, if your system is no longer compliant with the new legislation it is advisable that you upgrade to a compliant sewage treatment plant as soon as possible to avoid potential hassle further down the line.

For a detailed breakdown of the different types of sewage systems and to determine if which category your system falls into, visit the Government small sewage guidance page.

Another option is to get in touch with a drainage company specialising in this field have one of their engineers visit your site to carry out an assessment. At TWC Drain Care we provide free site surveys throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North East.

How important is it that I upgrade?

In brief, it is important to ensure you are taking measures to ensure your system is upgraded if an upgrade is indeed required. The recent changes to the implementation of these measures allows for a ‘reasonable timescale’ for this work to be carried out – 12 months.

Where an upgrade is required and no plans have been put in place to implement the upgrade within the coming year, the EA will have the authority to enforce fines and penalties.

If you have not yet checked your system, we highly recommend taking the time to familiarise yourself with the legislation by visiting the links in this article, or contacting TWC Drain Care to speak with one of our sewage system specialists today on 0330 058 2636.

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