Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Register your septic tank

Register your septic tank


Why does it need to be registered?

An individual septic tank serving a household, if it is properly maintained doesn’t pose a great threat to the environment. Where there are a lot of septic tanks, the combined discharges can have an effect on the quality of groundwater and of watercourses that pass through the area.

Your environmental regulator needs to know where they are located and how many there are. This is in order to make decisions about whether allowing other activities, or discharges, will cause pollution problems for groundwater, streams or rivers or lochs/loughs.

Check if your septic tank is already registered

You can check if your tank has already been registered by contacting your environmental regulator. If you are unsure then it is best to check and avoid making an unnecessary payment. The NIEA and SEPA have records of all registered septic tanks.

Contact your environmental regulator

Register your septic tank

If your tank is not registered then you must register it with your environmental regulator.

In Northern Ireland you should visit the Northern Ireland Environment Agency website for an application form and guidance documents.

NIEA has launched an online service for the registration of septic tanks. You can find the online platform at:

DAERA: Domestic consents

You can find information about septic tank discharges, and a link to the online service at:

DAERA: Regulating water discharges

In Scotland you should visit the SEPA website. You can register online or by post:

SEPA: Registering your existing septic tank

You can apply online if the system:

  • has been in use for 2 years or more; and
  • serves 9 properties or less.

In this Guideline

How septic tanks work

What shouldn't go into a septic tank

Maintaining your septic tank

Register your septic tank

What can go wrong with a septic tank

New tanks - Planning waste water and sewage treatment

Treatment of septic tank discharge where no soakaway is possible

If a septic tank can't be installed on your site

Septic tank legislation

Environmental News Blog

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!


NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms