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Small Sewage Discharge to a Surface Water Guidance

If you discharge sewage into surface water, you may need a specific permit. This is essential as there are different permits available, depending on the system you will be using. That’s why you should familiarise yourself with the different requirements and find out exactly what you need in order to apply for the specific permit you need. The process is fairly easy if you have all the requirements in place.

If you discharge wastewater or sewage into surface waters, you may need a permit, especially if you discharge into rivers, streams, lakes, etc. It may also be necessary for discharging into the ground via infiltration. This is also known as groundwater activities. 

You will need to apply to the Environment Agency for a permit, should you fall into this category. Standalone refers to an activity that is not specifically a waste operation, installation or mining operation but still discharges waste or sewage into the groundwater system. If you have a standalone system, you will need to know what the guidelines are and how to operate it successfully. 

Check That You Meet the Legal Operator Requirements

If you require a permit for a specific groundwater activity you are operating; you have to ensure that you are the legal operator. There are a few requirements that you can check to ensure that you are the legal operator then this includes you have to have sufficient control of the activity, for example, have day-to-day control of the system. You should also make sure that the permit conditions comply with certain elements. You should decide who holds important positions within your staff structure and you have to remove any incompetent staff. 

You also have to make the investment and financial decisions which can affect the way that their activities carried out. Also and ensure that you have regulated activities that are controlled in an emergency situation. This is important as it is part of the responsibilities of the legal operator. There are a few other aspects to consider when you want to determine whether or not you are the legal owner of the system. 

You can have contractors who carry out activities on your site, and they can also be operated, but you have to have sufficient control over these activities. In some cases, a contractor may also be the legal operator based on the aspects above. However, a remote holding company is unlikely to have sufficient control. It’s important to make sure that you have sufficient control and that you will be responsible for the operations of the system to improve your chances of getting a permit.

If you want to hold a permit and be liable, you have to apply as a legal entity. You have to be either an individual, a public limited company, a private limited company, or a government body such as a local authority. As the operator, you will be legally responsible for the activity in the system where or not it is operational. You can also contact the Environment Agency if you do not yet comply to be a legal entity.

Keeping Sensitive Information Confidential

When your application is being considered by the Environment Agency, your information will be made public. You may ask them not to make your information public, especially if it’s sensitive information for the public. The agency will write back to you within 20 days if it agrees to your request. It may also let you know that it may need more time to consider. 

If your request is not approved, they will tell you why and also appeal against the decision, or even withdraw your application. The choice remains yours, and you will have the opportunity to choose what you want to do, should your request be denied. 

You can also find out more about the process by contacting the Environment Agency directly, or find out what the fees are before you apply. If you pay the wrong fee, your application may be rejected. Contact them in advance and ensure that you have everything ready that you need to proceed. 

Fees and Charges

There are fees involved when you apply for a permit, and it will depend on the type of permit you are applying for. The fees cannot be refunded so it’s important that you find out exactly what the fees will be so that you can plan ahead. You have to send your fee with your application, and if you are successful, the agency may charge you an additional subsistence fee if you have a permit.

The fee will depend on your activity and the type of permit you have. You can contact the agency directly if you want to find out what the fees are. 

After You Apply

There may be many reasons why the Environment Agency rejects your application. It might be because you haven't used the right forms, or perhaps you have forgotten to include the fee with your application or even sent the wrong fee. Should the Environment Agency process your information and rejects it, they will provide you with a reason so that you can reapply if needed.

The Agency will publish online and notice of your application as well as instructions for how other people can comment on it. Interested parties all members of the public will have 20 working days to comment on your application. Environment Agency may also consult with other public bodies such as local authorities comma for their feedback. 

After your application has been processed, he will be contacted by the agency and told her your application is duly made. This simply means that the assessment process has started. They may however still request additional information if they needed to complete your assessment.

Should your application be of a high public interest, the agency may take a bit longer to provide you with an outcome, or even carry out additional consultations. They may also choose to advertise your application more widely, and for this reason, you may ask them directly how the process works.

Comply With Your Permit

If your application has been successful and you have been granted the permit will have to comply with specific conditions. You can find out how the Environment Agency will regulate you once you start operating. This is important to know so that you stay within the required guidelines while you operate.

Change, Transfer or Cancel Your Permit

After you've been approved you can either change, transfer or cancel your permit. You can change the details on the permit, transfer it to someone else, you completely cancel your permit altogether.

There are specific processes to follow if you wish to transfer, change or cancel your permit and best is to contact the Environment Agency directly to find out how this should be done.

Contact the Environment Agency

You can contact the Environment Agency directly if you need help with your application or if you are not sure whether you need a permit or not.