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Are you a North East homeowner with a septic tank?

Are you up-to-date with the 2020 Septic Tank Regulations?

On the 1st January 2020, septic tanks were no longer allowed to discharge to a watercourse, or to a soakaway system other than a drainage field. Make sure you up-to-date with the new regulations - read through our information on the new regulations and see how we can carry out any septic tank installation, replacement or drainage field groundworks in your North East property.

Septic tank regulations pre-2020.

Previously, septic tank systems were able to discharge the separated waste water from within the septic tank through one of two ways:

  • 1. The tank could be drained off through a soakaway drainage field whereby the waste waters seeps through holes or slots into pipework which then feed into surrounding sub-soils to expel waste. This method allowed some treatment of the waste water, and water reaching the watercourse was not causing pollution.
  • 2. The tank could be drained directly to a watercourse such as a stream or river. The waste water would flow through a sealed pipe from the tank directly to the watercourse.

Why did the septic tank regulations changed?

The Environment Agency is committed to reducing the possibility for septic tank systems to pollute local watercourses including streams, rivers and seas. The latest regulations were published by the Environment Agency in 2015 - General binding rules: small sewage discharge to a surface water. These regulations make it clear that polluting the environment through the incorrect installation and function of a septic tank is an offence.

North East septic tank options.

If you currently have a septic tank installed which is discharging waste directly to a watercourse then you must take action immediately to ratify this. The Environment Agency advise that you take one of the following actions:

  • - Connect your septic tank to a mains sewer
  • - Install a drainage field (also known as an infiltration system) so the septic tank can discharge to ground instead
  • - Replace your septic tank with a small sewage treatment plant

Be aware: septic tank converters are NOT compliant!

As part of the General Binding Rules the Environment Agency clearly state that "You cannot use a septic tank conversion unit or a reedbed for discharging effluent to a watercourse."

I'm buying or selling a house with a septic tank.

If you are buying a house which includes a septic tank, you should ensure that the seller has made the lawfully required changes to their septic tank system to ensure it meets the new regulations. If this has not been carried out you should ensure it is completed prior to the sale of the property and carried out by professional contractors who are competent in the installation and replacement of septic tank systems.

If you are planning to sell a property then you must have made the required changes to your septic tank to ensure the discharge of waste is not being made to a watercourse that could cause pollution. Before you intend to sell, speak with a competent advisor who can advise on your needs and how best to proceed. Furthermore, you must fully inform the new operator (the owner or the person responsible for the sewage treatment plant) in writing that a sewage discharge is in place. You can find more information regarding this on the government website.

Who can I trust to make my septic tank compliant for 2020?

"Your treatment system must meet the British Standard" - for that reason we feel it is very important to ensure that competent and experienced contractors are appointed to support homeowners in installing, replacing or improving the current septic tank or waste treatment system to make it compliant with the regulations and British Standards. DGS Limited are committed to providing an expert service with expert advice and guidance on the installation or replacement processes in the North East. We come with a wealth of knowledge and pride ourselves on our workmanship. We are highly recommended and can supply references from previous customers on request.

FREE emergency call out 24/7, 365 days a year.

Call 0191 300 3084

What customers say about our workmanship & service.

We are the best drainage and groundworks company in the North East and we'd like to think you would trust us and take our word for it. However, we know that isn't always going to persuade you, therefore we ask our customers to submit a testimonial, if they have time, to tell you for themselves how we have been able to help them and whether or not they would recommend us to you. You can also see our many 5 star reviews on:

Rated People TrustaTrader Yell FreeIndex

DGS Limited came to my home one morning when I woke to find the kitchen had a really bad smell and each time I ran the tap the smell got worse. They came out within the hour and cleared my drain outside which cleared up the problem straight away. There was no call out fee just labour to clear the blockage. Well recommended.

Laura Johnson

Very polite and friendly. Used the camera to illustrate the problems and made recommendations. Not at all pushy. All repairs carried out and again used the camera to show us what they had done. Left everywhere clean and tidy. Would recommend.


Called with a blockage, arrived within 10 minutes, blockage cleared immediately. Friendly, helpful and service with a smile. Would thoroughly recommend to anyone.

Helen Fletcher

Splendid work from the team at DGS. I couldn't clear a blockage in our bathroom which seemed to be somewhere in the waste pipe. It took DGS 35 minutes to get someone to my home and I was charged nothing for the call out and just £34 for their time to remove the blockage. Found at top of Google and would definitely recommend.

Harold Williams

Thanks lads. Washing machine was not draining water away through the pipe leading outside. Took them 10 minutes to fix the issue and saved me hundreds as I was about to buy a new washer.

Lewis Evans

I contacted DGS as they were top of Google and had a range of very good reviews. We were extending our house and needed to route new drainage for a bathroom. I only wanted them to fit the waste system for the bathroom but they were able to provide services for the complete plumbing too. Looks amazing now it is all done. Thanks for your hard work.

Alan Harvey

Very pleased with our new patio and decking.

Jim Hudson

Really grateful for coming to see us today. I nearly clicked on the first over priced website I came to but so glad I looked around. I would highly recommend DGS Limited for their call out time, workmanship and value for money.

Rebecca Holmes

Outstanding groundworks team providing an exceptional service. Planning, communication and hands on labour were all second to none. We contracted DGS to plan and implement a private road which they did with professionalism, from drawings to finish, the work was great.

Billy Pearce

10 out of 10 - brilliant work thanks.


Great job today thank you. Blocked sink drain which was causing a really bad smell in the house. Unblocked and flushing within an hour. Only cost us £44 which was much cheaper than anyone else online.


Good service from DGS, unblocked my sink, great price would use again.


I called DGS this morning when we woke up to find the garden under water after last nights heavy rain. It wasn't flowing down the drain and despite my husband attempting to get his hand down there he couldn't clear the blockage. The gents at DGS came out within the hour to investigate, they investigated the problem and removed all of the leaves that were clogging the drain. The service was fast, reliable, friendly and much cheaper than other firms I had called who couldn't visit until the next day. Thank you.

Julie Stephenson

FREE emergency call out 24/7, 365 days a year.

Call 0191 300 3084