© South Ribble Borough Council 2019


New rules for septic tanks

New rules for Septic Tanks: 2020

South Ribble has many rural areas where properties may not be served by main sewers for their foul drainage. In such cases you would probably have a septic tank within your property or possibly on a neighbours land if the tank serves more than one property.

From January 2020, The Environment Agency introduced new laws that if you have a septic tank which ultimately discharges to a watercourse then you are no longer allowed to use this method of disposing of foul drainage.

You now have 3 options:

  1. Connect to a main sewer if available
  2. Remove the septic tank and install a packaged water treatment plant to BS EN 12566-3 and certified.
  3. The discharge to the watercourse stopped and diverted to a drainfield, designed and constructed to the current British Standard BS6297 200


The Building Act 1984 sets out that any work to underground drainage will require Building Regulations approval.

Failure to notify Building Control may result in enforcement or could harm the sale of your property in future.

Please call 01772 625400 if you have any queries. You should also check if you require planning permission.

For more information please see Government guidance