New Regulations to Prevent Pollution – Know Your Duties


Most properties are connected to the mains sewer but for those people living in the countryside, perhaps a village or rural community, maybe a National Park or within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, their homes and businesses will be connected to either a septic tank, cesspool or a small sewerage treatment plant.

New regulations are now in force; The Environmental Permitting Regulations have created General Binding Rules that domestic users must now meet to help prevent pollution entering the country’s waterways.

Unsurprisingly, the regulations have generally gone unnoticed. When it comes to septic tanks it can often be a case of “out of sight, out of mind” but even locally, concerns about water quality at Leighton Moss in the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have been raised. Levels of phosphorous and nitrogen are too high; in turn threatening the rare species that live there and one of the potential sources of the pollutants has been identified as discharges from septic tanks.

The overall aim of the regulations is improvements to the quality of water and our environment, but the impact of the regulations will be felt by property owners. Those who presently discharge into watercourses will need to upgrade or renew their system by 1 January 2020. Should you be moving to a new house then you will be required to provide your purchaser with information about your system in writing; including a description of the system, the discharge point and your annual maintenance records. Although rules and regulation may initially seem onerous, a little expert advice can put your house in order and help prevent the consequences of losing a sale or a price re-negotiation due to unforeseen repairs in meeting the new regulations.

Here at Armitstead Barnett we are here to offer advice and guidance on the new guidelines and indeed, if you are looking to sell your property and need an agent that specialises in village and rural property then talk to us:

North Lancashire: 01995 603 180

South Lancashire: 01704 895 995

Cumbria: 01539 751 993

Ribble Valley: 01200 411 155

Authored by

Hannah Towers

North Lancashire

07912 513478

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