Environmental management – policy paper

Small sewage discharges in England: general binding rules

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

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


We have changed the regulations to simplify the laws controlling small sewage discharges from septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants in England. New regulations Environmental Permitting (England and Wales)(Amendment)(England) Regulations 2014 came into effect in January 2015.

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.

We have also provided additional information about the new approach and how it will apply.