RA Dalton Success Stories

RA Dalton Ltd are the Klargester number one accredited installer covering the whole of the UK.

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The change of the decade – 2020 is now here.

Before we even knew it 2019 has now been and gone, and so we now arrive in 2020… This year will mark a big change for the Wastewater industry – it certainly doesn’t feel like it has been 5 years since the Environment agency announced a drastic change in required conformity levels for septic tank installations.

General Binding Rules 2020 – Background.

On the 16th June 2015 the government website first uploaded the details on what was now to be required for all property owners and to say it caused some confusion was certainly an understatement!

For all we could understand the general gist of what they were trying to achieve the technicalities still caused a few head scratches. For the most part we applauded the EA for trying to improve the water quality in our rivers and streams with the main aim of removing untreated effluent.

For many, many years the wastewater from septic tanks and non-functional treatment plants have been polluting our watercourses and putting a lot of our native wildlife at risk. Not to mention the fact that many people find great joys in the summer months swimming in our rivers, lakes and seas (Something I have personally been put off doing for life) and when the winter hits and areas start flooding the raw effluent adds more insult to injury.

Gaining clarity – What this means for Septic tank owners.

For a lot of people the 2020 General Binding Rules didn’t change anything and they remained compliant however for the unlucky ones this meant that works were required to bring them back in line with the regulations.

It was outlined that within 5 years all septic tanks that discharge to a watercourse would be either replaced by a package sewage treatment plant, diverted to a drainage field or the property would have to be connected to mains sewer.

There are of course a number of variables that may affect what you may need to do.

Septic tanks.

In the first instance it would always be pertinent to check that your septic tank is legal. If for whatever reason you are unsure of the discharge location or not sure if it is working as it should we would recommend that this is checked as soon as possible.

Our contracts managers can provide a full visual site inspection which includes checking the function, capacity, discharge and suitability, for more information on this service please contact our offices on 01388 537030.

If you are unlucky enough that your septic tank does discharge to a watercourse there are a number of options that may be available to you:

  1. If you have suitable permeable ground available (subject to percolation tests) you may be able to divert the discharge to a drainage field (constructed in accordance with BS 6297:2007).
  2. Replace the septic tank with a package sewage treatment system. The new treatment plant would need to have the correct BS EN 12566 certification which allows them to discharge to the watercourse (Please note that some discharges may still require an EA permit dependant on area and daily flow).
  3. As the majority of septic tanks that discharge to a watercourse have been in place for a number of years there is a possibility in the less remote areas that a connection to mains sewer may be an option.

Sewage treatment systems.

Sewage treatment plants are not excused from the new regulations either, these system need regular servicing and emptying to ensure they are efficiently treating effluent after all if your system isn’t treating it is no better than having a septic tank installed.

The EA has recommended that routine maintenance is carried out by a competent servicing engineer, you are also required by law to receive a waste transfer note for all of your emptying and this may be checked should there be any correspondence with an environmental officer.

New sewage treatment plants that are being installed after the 1st January 2015 need to conform to BS EN 12566, any system that is installed and does not have this accreditation is illegal. With this in mind we always recommend that one of the main manufacturer’s is utilised for the supply of your new system (Kingspan Klargester, Premier Tech Aqua, WPL etc).


Not only does the system have to fit the right criteria, the main aspect that need to be checked is the sizing of the system. You can have the flashiest BioDisc installed but if the system is too small and not capable for handling the load then the system will not be able to treat the effluent to the right specification.

Septic tanks and Sewage treatment plants are sized differently for commercial and domestic ventures, domestic being the simpler option and working on population whereas commercial works on the daily flow (depending on the site facilities).

More Baffled than a septic tank?

If this all seems confusing to you (don’t worry it is confusing!) why not give us a call and we can ask an experience member of our team to give you a call, either to arrange a site meeting and discuss your current system or look into future proofing yourself.

We are still waiting to see to the extent the EA will be policing the non-compliances however if you have a septic tank that is discharging to a watercourse this is now illegal and must be rectified ASAP.

Durham Office

01388 537030

Bishop Auckland
County Durham
DL13 1DB

Crook Office

01388 537030

Unit 10c,
Beechburn Industrial Estate,
County Durham, DL15 8RA

Glasgow Office

01698 827628

Office 60
East Kilbride Business Centre
14 Stroud Rd
East Kilbride
G75 0YA

Chesterfield Office

01246 865412

Unit 2, Midway Business Centre
Bridge Street Industrial Estate
Clay Cross, Chesterfield
S45 9NU

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