New drains regulations come info force

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ANY property owner without mains drains will be affected by the new environmental regulations.

The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, which came into force on April 6, 2010 and replace the 2007 Regulations, require all discharges from septic tanks and sewerage treatment plants to be authorised by an environmental permit or be registered as exempt from holding one.

Elizabeth Allen of Brown and Co said: “This could affect the majority of people in the area. Property owners are required to register their septic tank or sewage treatment plant with the Environment Agency by 1st January 2012.

“Currently, registration is free if you comply with the Environment Agency’s list of criteria and discharge in to the ground, via a drainage field or soakaway, so those affected should act quickly.

“Property owners need to be careful though.

“An exemption is not available for all properties, for example if your are close to a nature conservation area or discharge ground water within 50m of a water supply, a permit must be obtained, for which there is a charge by the Environment Agency.

“We can put the application together for any householder or business and advise whether an exemption or a permit is required.

“Also, once you have registered an exemption, various conditions need to be complied with and if you sell your house, you must give the buyer details of the exemption and pass on the maintenance records. We can help with all these processes.”