Upcoming changes in legislation will affect how exemptions from needing an environmental permit are managed for small sewage discharges in England.

From 1 January 2015, the legal requirements for small sewage discharges are changing. These changes will mostly affect rural residential properties. Properties which use a septic tank or sewage treatment plant will no longer need to be registered in order for a property to be sold.

Sellers are still required to provide information to buyers about the waste water system. Systems are expected to meet the conditions set out in the general binding rules, which include not causing pollution of surface waters or groundwater and that the system is maintained in good working order.

Defects in the system are expected to be repaired either by the seller or the buyer, as part of sale negotiation, in the same way that other defects in a property are dealt with.