Campervan and motorhome owners should not dispose of greywater through highway drains, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has told Van Life Matters.
It comes after it emerged that a campervan hire firm is to be given a fixed penalty notice after the occupants of one of its campervans discharged waste water into a drain in the Scottish Highlands.
Speaking to Van Life Matters, DEFRA said that leisure vehicle owners should ensure that they dispose of greywater “appropriately to either the public foul sewerage system or to a private sewage treatment system designed to receive and treat it”.
Under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016, any discharge of greywater to either a watercourse or to the ground must either be subject to a permit granted by the Environment Agency or fall within the definition of an exempt activity.
A watercourse includes ditches, streams and drains which are not owned by a sewerage undertaker.
In a statement obtained by Van Life Matters, a DEFRA said: “As highways drains will drain via one of these two routes, the scope of this requirement includes any disposal of greywater to highways drains.
“It is essential to ensure that greywater is properly treated before it is discharged as untreated, or inadequately treated, greywater can lead to pollution, particularly in circumstances where highways drains discharge to ponds or seasonally dry watercourses or in popular areas.
“It is also unlikely in our experience that the owners of highways drains would give permission for untreated grey water to be disposed of to those drains.
“Campervan and motorhome owners should not, therefore, dispose of their greywater through highway drains and should ensure that they dispose of it appropriately to either the public foul sewerage system or to a private sewage treatment system designed to receive and treat it.”
The Campaign for Real Aires in the UK (CAMpRA) has produced a map which includes waste disposal points around the UK using Searchforsites data and is freely available to view.
A separate map, produced by the Campervan and Motorhome Professional Association (CAMPA), shows waste disposal points and campsites in Scotland which allow leisure vehicle owners to use their services for free.