Septic tanks and treatment plants: permits and general binding rules

You have a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant

As the ‘operator’ of a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant you must check you meet the general binding rules. You must apply for a permit if you do not.

You’re an operator if any of the following is true:

  • you own the property that uses the system
  • you own a property that shares the system with other properties - each property owner is an operator, and you’re jointly responsible for complying with the general binding rules
  • you have a written agreement with the property owner that says you’re responsible for the system’s maintenance, for example you’re renting and it’s in your tenancy agreement

Contact the Environment Agency if you’re not sure whether you’re an operator.