Code of Practice: Wastewater Treatment for Single Houses

The EPA has published a Code of Practice: Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses (p.e < 10).  The EPA 2000 guidance has been withdrawn.  You can download a copy of the Code of Practice: Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems serving Single Houses (p.e. < 10) from the EPA's website at the link below or hard copies are available from our Publications Office, Environmental Protection Agency, PO Box 3000, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford on 053 9160600 or e-mail publications@epa.ie.

NOTE: Some minor corrections have been made to this publication as and from the 29 March 2010.  The site characterisation form (writable pdf format) has been amended to allow for additional text to be included as requested by users.

Following a number of requests for clarification from the public in relation to pressurised distribution systems and sand polishing filters, the EPA has issued a clarification note on 20 February 2012. This clarification note can be downloaded at Code of Practice Clarification Feb 2012

As a result of the testing regime for packaged treatment systems under EN 12566:3 the EPA has issued a clarification note of the 9 August 2013.  View details on this clarification note.

The code of practice (CoP) establishes an overall framework of best practice in relation to the development of wastewater treatment and disposal systems, in unsewered rural areas, for protection of our environment and specifically water quality.  The code replaces previous guidance issued by the EPA on wastewater treatment systems for single houses (EPA, 2000) and incorporates the requirements of new European guidelines, recent research findings and submissions and comments received during the consultation process.

This EPA code of practice sets out the following:

  • An assessment methodology for the determination of site suitability for an on-site wastewater treatment system and identification of the minimum environmental protection requirements.
  • A methodology for the selection of a suitable wastewater treatment system for sites in unsewered rural areas.
  • Information on the design and installation of conventional septic tank systems, filter systems and mechanical aeration systems.
  • Information on tertiary treatment systems.
  • Maintenance requirements for the above systems.

Learn more

The Office of Environmental Enforcement at the EPA organised two Workshops for Local Authorities on the 30th March in Sligo and on the 1st April in Limerick on the new 'Code of Practice: Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems serving Single Houses' and the three technical talks, ranging from 30 to 45 minutes long, are available to view with the corresponding presentation slides.

View videos of the Wastewater Treatment and Disposal systems serving Single Houses workshop.

Download  the Code of Practice: Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses.

Download  Electronic Site Characterisation Form

View the Frequently Asked Questions on wastewater treatment systems for single houses