Environment Agency advises on restarting private sewage treatment plants

The Environment Agency has provided guidance to a range of industry bodies covering hospitality businesses including pubs, restaurants, hotels, camping and caravan sites and theme parks confirming the need for private sewage treatment plants to be made ready to be used again following a period of shutdown or low flows.

It comes as many pubs and other hospitality businesses are making plans to re-open next month, subject to the easing of lockdown restrictions.

It is essential that environmental impacts must be minimised when operators restart their sewage treatment plants, and those who discharge poor quality effluent risk being in breach of their environmental permits or the General Binding Rules if their discharges cause pollution of surface water or groundwater.

The Environment Agency will therefore confirm the need for operators to take steps to ensure that their treatment plant is able to operate effectively as flows into it increase after their businesses reopen.

Those unaccustomed to restarting, should seek technical advice and support from: whoever normally maintains their sewage treatment plant, the manufacturer or supplier of their treatment plant, or a competent sewage treatment plant maintenance engineer.

Operators of premises served by their own sewage treatment plant wanting to dispose of waste beer should find other means of disposal. They should seek further guidance from the British Beer and Pub Association and refer to the waste hierarchy which is available on GOV.UK.

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