Xmas deliveries for septic tank owners in Wales.
MANY rural home owners are likely to get something extra this Christmas - a letter from Environment Agency Wales.
Letters and registration forms are being sent to more than 70,000 people reminding them of the need to register their septic tanks or small package treatment plants as soon as possible.
Affected home owners will receive these letters over Christmas or early in the New Year and the Agency is encouraging a swift response.
In practice, however, people can register their septic tanks at any point before June 30, 2012.
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.
"Most people will only need to fill in and return the form to be registered.
"Following that, all we want is for people to maintain their septic tanks to a good standard to avoid unintentional pollution."
EA Wales is implementing new environmental regulations introduced in 2010. These are designed to reduce septic tank pollution of rivers, lakes and coastal waters, as well as private water supplies such as wells, boreholes and springs.
Knowing the location of septic tanks will help Agency officers check for poorly maintained septic tanks.
In Wales, for most people, registration is a simple process, free of charge and a one-off requirement - unlike some other parts of the UK where a fee is payable.
Single properties with up to nine occupants should be able to register for free. In an estimated 3% of cases in Wales, where a household has a larger septic tank, or where discharges are in a sensitive area, a permit will be required, costing pounds 125.
EA Wales warned that enforcement is possible if tanks are not registered.
But it stressed that anyone unaware of the requirement will be given the chance to register or obtain a permit.
Mr Mills added: "I have a septic tank myself and have registered it.
"It was relatively straightforward, but if anyone has difficulties or a query about this process they should call our contact centre for help."
. To register online, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/sewagedischarge. Or you can call 03708 506506 and ask to speak to an advisor.
If people do not receive a letter and they have a septic tank, they can request a form by calling 03708 506506.
Taxman's true grit THE Taxman is ready to invoke fuel concessions for gritting roads in the event of bad weather.
Usually, only vehicles solely designed for gritting are allowed to use red diesel, which prevents farmers gritting public roads for their local communities.
But HMRC says it will relax the rules temporarily if the weather turns - announcing it via its website.
Farmers can legally use red diesel when using snow ploughs.