While the review is under way, we will not require the registration of small domestic sewage discharges from septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants, in England.
This downtime is for essential maintenance to our systems.
The online registration system for waste exemptions will be unavailable today Wednesday 5th June between 6pm and 8.30pm.
You will not be able to register your waste exemptions online during this time. We recommend that you register your waste exemption before the downtime starts or wait until the system is available again.
We apologise for any inconvenienced caused.
Householders can still register if they wish, perhaps because of a house sale.
If your home in England has a septic tank or a small sewage treatment plant and you want to register then you can do so on our system, or you may need to have an environmental permit.
If properly managed, most septic tanks or small sewage treatment plants do not cause problems, but if they are poorly designed, installed or managed, the discharge from them can damage the environment. Domestic wastewater can contain substances that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment.
If you have already been granted permission from us for the discharge, then you do not need to register. You also do not need to register a cesspool or cesspit, as these are sealed systems with no discharge to the environment.
For new applications for discharges, it is always best to connect to a public foul sewer but if you cannot we provide guidance. You will find this in the 'Further reading' section on this page.
- Registration is free
- You only need to register once
- Discharges to surface waters or to ground may be registered
How do I register?
Please follow our step-by-step guide.
Step 1 - read the summary guidance
When you register the discharge, we will ask you to confirm that the discharge complies with the criteria in our guidance. We have produced a brief guidance note for householders:
Our document 'Frequently asked questions' may help you to understand the registration process:
Step 2 - make sure you have the information you need to register
In order to register you will need to provide the following information:
- your name and address
- the address of the property where the discharge is being made, including the post code and a National Grid Reference for the discharge (see below for details)
- whether the discharge is existing (before 6 April 2010) or new (after 6 April 2010)
- the type of sewage system you have (septic tank or package sewage treatment plant)
- the volume of your discharge (see Frequently asked questions (PDF, 147KB)
- whether you are discharging to the ground or to a suitable surface water
- for discharges to ground, to be able to confirm that the discharge is not within 50 metres of a well or borehole that is used to supply water
- to be able to confirm that you have read the relevant guidance and are fully aware of the criteria for registration
How do I get a National Grid Reference?
You will need the National Grid Reference of the point where the discharge enters the environment. This is so we know exactly where the discharge is. A suitable link is provided in the external links box, on the right-hand side of this page and within the online registration system. Simply enter your postcode, find the point where the discharge enters the ground or surface water and right-click on the aerial photograph. A 12-figure grid reference will be provided.
More details on how to get your National Grid Reference is given in our Frequently asked questions (PDF, 147KB).
Step 3 - register your sewage discharge
You can use this link to register online. This is the simplest and quickest way to register:
IMPORTANT: Our online system requires cookies to be enabled on your computer. Many users will have them enabled as standard as many internet services such as social media require them.
If you are unable to move past the first page of our online system, and believe you are typing in the word you're asked for correctly, then we recommend that first you check your cookies are enabled. This is a setting within your Internet Browser and the help button in your browser should provide you with guidance on how to do this.
You can find more information about cookies on our website:
Specific advice for your browser can also be found on this website:
TO REGISTER ONLINE:
You can also register by post if you print out and complete this paper application form:
If you have any questions about your registration or if you require a hard copy of the application form, you can telephone us on 03708 506 506 (Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm).
Step 4 - what happens next?
We will inform you within 15 working days (three weeks) if your registration has been successful. If you apply online it will usually be much sooner.
If we cannot accept the registration for any reason we will let you know. You may need to apply for an environmental permit. There is a one-off charge for a permit application for a small sewage discharge. This is our 'reduced application fee', which is currently £125 in 2011:
Further details on our fees and charges can be found on our charges pages:
The full criteria for registration are explained in our guidance document:
It is recommended that everyone (and in the case of new applications your installer as well) should read this guidance. This sets out the legal and technical requirements for making a small sewage effluent discharge.
For new discharges, that cannot connect to a public foul sewer, this guidance provides information on other sewage treatment and disposal options available to you: