Septic tanks work by taking waste and separating it into three different layers:
Solids, Effluent and Scum. The solids float to the bottom leaving the waste water separated from the solids so it can flow away efficiently.
Homeowners with septic tanks that discharge directly into ditches, streams, canals, rivers, surface water, drains or any other type of water course will need to replace or upgrade their drainage.
Homeowners are responsible for their choice, installation and maintenance of their wastewater system under a new code of practice introduced by the Environment Agency. They have a legal responsibility to minimise the impact of their sewage waste if they manage it within the bounds of their property e.g. with a septic tank or sewage treatment plant (Binding Rules - England, DEFRA, January 2015).
ALL septic tanks that currently ultimately discharge into watercourses will have to be either:
Replaced using a sewage treatment plant with full BS EN 12566-3 Certification instead, or
The discharge to the watercourse stopped and diverted to a drainfield, designed and constructed to the current British Standard BS 6297 2007