Policy paper

Small sewage discharges in England: general binding rules

General binding rules for small sewage discharges from septic tanks or sewage treatment plants in England, from 1 January 2015.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Applies to England



The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales)(Amendment)(England) Regulations 2014 came into effect from 1 January 2015. These changes were to simplify the laws controlling small sewage discharges from septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants in England.

The general binding rules set out the conditions in the regulations that allow a septic tank or sewage treatment plant to be used without an environmental permit. This policy paper summarises those rules.

Find out how to follow the general binding rules if you are the operator of a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant.

Published 27 October 2014
Last updated 21 January 2015 + show all updates
  1. Updated two general binding rules (8 and 17) in 'General binding rules' document: added ‘mean spring’ to make clear the rule relates to a known indicator for low tide. Included screening distances for aquatic local nature reserves and aquatic local wildlife sites.

  2. First published.