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What are Source Protection Zones (SPZ1) and should you care?  

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What is a Source Protection Zone (SPZ1)

A Source Protection Zone is a marked area around a commercial water supply used for drinking water or food production. It can also define an area where a known private water supply for human consumption is located. There are several different levels of zone within this defined area, Zone 1, defined as the inner zone is the most critical.

Essentially the area is of interest as the water below the ground is potentially used for direct human consumption. Thereby the discharging of pollutants within this zone is restricted to protect us all from potential contamination. As a standard part of any of our quotes for new installations or our Home Buyer Surveys we will check to see if your property is in an SPZ1.

What are the consequences of being in an SPZ1?

If you own a property that has its own sewage discharge. i.e. you are not connected to mains sewers then under the 2015 General Binding Rules (rule 7) you must check if it discharges within a Source Protection Zone (SPZ1).

If you are discharging to ground, normally using a soakaway or Drainage Field within an SPZ1 then you must apply for a permit to discharge. The permit required is a B6.6.

If you are proposing a new discharge within this area, i.e. building a new house or changing the discharge from surface water to ground then a full impact assessment will be applied. If you have an existing activity that started before 2015, when the General Binding Rules came into effect, then the Environment Agency has issued the following advice:

The Environment Agency will grant the permit if either:

  • there’s no evidence of pollution
  • the risk of pollution is acceptable

If there’s evidence of pollution or the risk of pollution is unacceptable the Environment Agency will ask you to make changes to your system and may issue a permit with improvement conditions.

As part of our home buyers surveys we carry out these checks and can also help with the application itself, please get in touch to find out how we can help.

Magic map
SPZ1 example zone

How do I find out if my property is in one (module with pictures)

To see if your property is within an SPZ1 is relatively easy, you will need to use the DEFRA Magic Map. Enter the site and click get started. In the top right search box enter your post code and hit return. You should now see a map of your local area. Please see picture 1 adjacent.

In the table of contents click the + sign next to designations. Then the + next to Land-Based Designations followed by the + next to Non-Statutory. You will then need to check the box next to “Source Protection Zones merged (England).

Please see the adjacent picture, if your property is within the zone shown in red then it is within an SPZ1.

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Expert wastewater treatment engineers who specialise in Septic Tank and Soakaway replacements as well as Sewage Treatment Installations. We are based in the New Forest, Hampshire but operate across the South Coast as well as Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Sussex, Surrey, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire.

The Home of Septic tank and private drainage system solutions. 

Based in the New Forest, Hampshire on the border with Dorset and Wiltshire we operate an expert team of off-mains drainage specialists. This encompasses Septic Tank, Soakaway and drainage system problems, installations, blockages, and servicing. In addition, any issues relating to cesspits and sewage treatment plants.

Homeseptic offers high quality, professional advice, repairs and installation for all aspects of effluent cleansing and disposal across the south of England. Whether you’re looking for septic tank installation, sewerage treatment plants or systems, piping or soakaway solutions, Homeseptic employs only the most competent engineers in the drainage and treatment industry and knows exactly which solutions suit each property.

We only install and offer quality systems we believe in, from suppliers we know and trust.

New Forest Philosophy

As we have said Homeseptic is based in the New Forest. A great location in between the cities of Southampton, Salisbury and Bournemouth. We are a group of good friends who grew up together in the area.  Individually we all have grown tired of the way other Drainage firms are run. As a result, this is why we set up Homeseptic. If you want to know more please check out our About Page

We want to actually put the customer first and turn up to do a great job that we can be proud of. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the market, with most companies pressuring their workers to sell unnecessary works on a visit. Due to this, we offer upfront quotations with any variations discussed before we start work.

We are honest hard working professionals, which we hope you will agree with. As a result, it will certainly not turn up in flash sales vehicles and give you a load of chat and then do a terrible job. Our team will come with the job in mind and the aim of giving you the best value we can in order to facilitate a quality installation. 

We cover all of Hampshire, West Sussex, Dorset, Somerset, and Wiltshire. Please get in touch and see what you think.

What are Source Protection Zones (SPZ1) and how do they impact if my Septic Tank system is compliant with the General Binding Rules?
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What are Source Protection Zones (SPZ1) and how do they impact if my Septic Tank system is compliant with the General Binding Rules?
A guide to Source Protection Zones
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