Sewage Treatment Plant Maintenance - Legal Facts and Responsibilities

Why the maintenance of your sewage treatment plant is essential

  • It is your legal responsibility. Maintenance involves far more than the annual emptying of the tank.

  • Treatment plants need regular maintenance to ensure problem-free operation and to avoid polluting either groundwater or watercourses.

  • Failure to maintain can cause difficulties within the plant - sometimes these problems cannot be fixed and a new sewage treatment plant must be installed.

  • .The Water Resources Act 1991 as amended by The Environment Act 1995 Consent to Discharge section stipulates that ‘a log of sewage plant maintenance shall be kept for inspection by Agency Officers for a period not less than five years’

  • The 2002 Building Regulations Part H2 states that  'regular maintenance and inspection should be carried out in accordance with the manufacturers instructions’ and ‘the owner is legally responsible to ensure that the system does not cause pollution, a health hazard or a nuisance.’

  • Under the EPP2 Legislation, 2010, the maximum fine for pollution due to lack of maintaining a sewage treatment system is fixed at up to £100,000 or 3 months imprisonment.

  • It is a condition of your Environment Agency Exemption or Permit that your sewage treatment plant is serviced according to the manufacturers' instructions. Failure to do so invalidates your Permit. You must keep the previous 5 years service reports to prove this.

Therefore it is essential the sewage treatment plant is maintained by a British Water Accredited Service Engineer who has also been trained by the manufacturer of the product.

Sapphire Environmental Ltd. are trained by the manufacturers.

As the UK suffers increasingly from dry winters and groundwater levels fall, it is vital that we do not contaminate our precious resources with untreated sewage effluent. This has already happened in Ireland. Maintenance is essential to protect UK drinking water supplies.