Letters and registration forms have been sent to more than 70,000 people believed to have septic tanks.

This is in accordance with environmental permitting regulations for both England and Wales, introduced in 2010.

According to the EA, there is strong evidence that poorly maintained septic tanks contribute to poor water quality in rivers, lakes and coastal waters and there is also a danger that pollution from septic tanks could contaminate private water supplies from wells, boreholes and springs.

In Wales, for the majority of people, registration is free of charge and a one-off requirement. This approach differs to some other parts of the UK and some EU Member States where this form of legal control is often subject to a fee.

However, in a small number of cases – less than 3% – where a household has a larger septic tank or where a septic tank discharges within a sensitive area, a permit will be required. This is specified by the environmental regulations and there may be a one-off £125 charge.

EA Wales director Chris Mills, said: “We are alerting people now to give them the time they need to complete the forms they will receive shortly. Alternatively they can register through our website.

“The majority of people will only need to fill in and return the form we send them to be registered. Following that, all we want is for people to maintain their septic tanks to a good standard to avoid any unintentional pollution.”

The deadline for registration is June 30 2012.

Carys Matthews

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