Time running out for Septic Tank Owners

15 May 2009




Rural dwellers who have septic tanks could find themselves in trouble by the end of the month if they have not registered their tanks with SEPA.

Following EU rules, SEPA has responsibility for registering all septic tanks, but few people know about it.

Unless they register by the end of the month they will have a fee to pay and will be in breach of the regulations.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Peter Peacock, is both encouraging people to register quickly and criticising SEPA for having failed to get their message out on the need for this action.

He said: "Thousands of my constituents across the whole of the Highlands and Islands have septic tanks, but very few of them have known they had to register them.

"Whatever SEPA did to advertise the fact that people had to register has not been successful everywhere and I know people have been taken aback to discover what they need to do and the very tight timescales necessary to complete the form.

"This issue has caused concern in many rural communities and this is first time it seems to have been effectively brought to people’s attention.

"I have written to SEPA Chief Executive asking for an explanation of what was done to tell people.

"There may have been some obscure statutory notices published somewhere, but if there was more effective communication it seems to have passed a lot of people by.

"Having done the registration online it is pretty straightforward.

"The printed form I saw was quite complex.

Mr Peacock added: "Anyone with a septic tank who has not registered needs to do so quickly and should get in touch with SEPA for guidance.

"I look forward to hearing what SEPA have to say in answer to my letter, but it looks like things could have been handled a whole lot better and people better informed."



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