Jonathan Mayglothling discusses the importance of rural properties ensuring compliance with the new rules
Our environment is changing at a rapid pace and as a society we must do more to protect it from further damage. The scale of the problem was highlighted in 2017, when a 9-month investigation by the WWF regarding the state of rivers in England and Wales revealed that 40% are polluted with wastewater from outdated sewage systems. The report also found that 80% of our rivers are currently failing to achieve “good ecological status”.
This is one of the core reasons for the implementation of the General Binding Rules and highlights why the new regulation is so important. Enforceable now, the rules have been devised to reduce the amount of contaminated water that enters our lakes, streams and rivers from septic tanks and other small-scale sewage treatment plants. It means from the new year, such sewage systems will not be able to discharge waste into any type of surface waterway unless it has been properly treated. Those septic tanks that are connected to an underground soakaway at least 10 metres away from a waterway will not be affected by the regulations.
Unsure if you’re compliant? it definitely isn’t worth the risk, Mayglothling can help you check, upgrade or replace your system to give you peace of mind.
Who is affected by the General Binding Rules and what should they do next?
Any property owner that is using an outdated septic tank or sewage solution could be affected by the General Binding Rules, if it is discharging waste directly to a surface waterway. While it is true that 95% of UK properties are connected to the main sewer network and therefore not affected by the rules, as a rural community we have many more homes that require off-the-grid waste management, and ensuring the solutions in place do not impact our local environment is more important than ever.
But it’s also important that property owners understand their responsibilities to ensure their drainage systems are now in-line with our environmental principles, especially those looking to purchase or sell properties in the near future. The new rules came into effect back in 2015 but have not been widely advertised, meaning many homeowners are now in a position that they are still non-compliant and at risk of potentially monetary fines.
The time to act is now. At Mayglothling, we recommend contacting a trusted waste provider as soon as possible to ensure you don’t end up on the wrong side of the regulation.
So if I can’t have a septic tank, what is the answer?
A modern Sewage Treatment Plant is a much more environmentally friendly waste management solution for rural properties. It begins wastewater treatment almost instantly through its sludge activation process, meaning only clean odourless water is dispensed back into our waterways. That said, we wouldn’t suggest you take a sip!
Our experts can help advise if you are compliant with the General Binding Rules. Follow the link to use our Quick Check GBR Compliance Tool.