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What you need to know about the

General Binding Rules 2020

The UK General Binding Rules 2020 (GBR 2020) is a set of regulations that came into effect on 1st January 2020, which apply to anyone who owns, operates, or uses a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant (STP) in England. These rules are designed to protect the environment and human health by ensuring that domestic wastewater is treated and disposed of safely and effectively. What are the implications of the GBR 2020 for septic tanks and why are treatment plants a better alternative?

Implications of the GBR 2020 for Septic Tanks:

The GBR 2020 requires all old tanks that discharge into surface water to be upgraded or undergo a septic tank conversion by 1st January 2020 or when the property is sold, whichever is sooner. Septic tanks that discharge into the ground are exempt from this requirement but must still comply with the general binding rules. These rules include:

  1. Septic tanks must be installed and operated in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Septic tanks must be maintained and emptied regularly to prevent overflowing or pollution.
  3. Septic tanks must not discharge into a watercourse, unless it meets the relevant environmental standards.

Septic tanks can be effective at treating domestic wastewater, but they have limitations. They only provide primary treatment, which means that the wastewater is only partially treated before it is discharged. This can result in the pollution of the environment and cause harm to human health. Furthermore, septic tanks require regular maintenance and emptying, which can be expensive and inconvenient.

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Contact our friendly and professional team via form, phone or email for any drainage issues you may have.

From blocked drains to septic tank repairs and replacements, we're here to help. We have over 25 years of experience and offer 24/7 emergency callouts.


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They did an excellent job of fixing a drain blockage. Turned out to be a hair comb that had somehow gut flushed down the toilet.
No idea!
Will definitely use them again the next time I do something stupid.

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    Why Treatment Plants are a Better Alternative

    Sewage treatment plants are a better alternative to septic tanks because they provide more effective treatment of domestic wastewater. They use a combination of mechanical, biological, and chemical processes to treat wastewater to a higher standard than a septic tank. The treated water can then be safely discharged into the environment, meeting the relevant environmental standards.

    Treatment plants are also more flexible than septic tanks. They can be installed in a wider range of locations, including areas with high water tables, and can be adapted to suit the specific needs of a property. Furthermore, septic tank maintenance is required more often making treatment plants a more cost-effective waste solution.

    In conclusion

    The UK General Binding Rules 2020 have implications for anyone who owns, operates, or uses a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant.

    Septic tanks that discharge into surface water must be upgraded or replaced by a sewage treatment plant to comply with the rules.

    Treatment plants are a better alternative to septic tanks because they provide more effective treatment of domestic wastewater and require less maintenance.

    If you have any questions about the GBR 2020 or the installation of a sewage treatment plant, please contact our friendly team today.

    Have an emergency? Or looking for a maintenance or quote? Call us today on 01386 882324.

    25 year guarantee!

    We are specialists in supplying and installing treatment plants of all sizes. We provide you with both an annual service and annual maintenence contract, so you're never left in the dark and always ensured by the smooth running of your plant. When you have your new treatment plant installed, we promise to return within 4 - 6 weeks for a follow-up to check everything is still running smoothly!

    We advise on regular servicing of treatment plants and sewage pumping stations, to always ensure a smooth-running plant! We can offer a bespoke maintenance packages for all types and sizes of tank to ensure you and your system is compliant.

    25 years is a long time, but that's how long our guarantee lasts here at Cotswold Drainage.

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    “Called today and they were here well within an hour. Polite and cheerful operative did a fantastic job and kept us informed about what and why all the time. I can well understand why your reviews are so good. Would recommend without a moment's hesitation. Thank you!”
    "Cotswold Drainage were truly excellent. They were very efficient in what was a miserable job, digging out a foul drain and un-blocking it, in cold rainy weather and removing a spirit level!!! and then leaving us after ensuring that everything was left as clean and tidy and as it was before the big dig started. I would have no hesitation in recommending them for a professional and personable service.”