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Water Quality Improvement

Water Quality Improvement

As part of the Environment Agency’s commitment to improve water quality and reduce pollution, new rules were introduced in 2015 for protecting local drinking water supplies (such as wells, springs or boreholes) from septic tank and small sewage treatment plant discharges.

As well as the new rules for operating septic tanks and sewage treatment plants, areas around groundwater drinking water supplies have been designated as groundwater Source Protection Zones (SPZs). The area closest to the groundwater drinking water supply is called SPZ1.

Anything that gets into the groundwater in an SPZ1 may get into the drinking water. To keep track of this, starting in January 2016, the Environment Agency will be writing to households and businesses with septic tanks or small sewage treatment plants to ask them to apply for a permit (at a one-off cost of £125) if they are located in an SPZ1.

Local SPZ1 coverage
Screen shot of the part of our parish in SPZ1 (shaded red). For a more detailed view, click on the image to be taken to the Environment Agency interactive map page.

Whom does this affect?

Any household or business with a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant who is also in an SPZ1.

The Environment Agency tells us that 21 premises in our parish are affected. Those people can expect to receive a letter with more information in the new year.

More information


Ground Source Protection Briefing Note December 2015
Ground Source Protection Briefing Note December 2015
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