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Quality management.
Understanding trade effluent characteristics

Trade effluent monitoring

Industrial water auditing and trade effluent monitoring help processing and manufacturing businesses stay compliant and save money!

The Environment Agency (EA) and the water companies are responsible for the quality and quantity of wastewater entering the watercourses. As such they control the amount and type of effluent going into wastewater treatment works (WwTW). Treatment plants are complex operations that can manage a limited capacity.

Industry produces vast volumes of effluent that if released into the watercourse could have devastating polluting effects.  Therefore, many companies are required to monitor and control their discharge levels, before they are released either into rivers and streams, or into the wastewater sewer network.

Companies that do need to monitor their discharge must obtain a consent licence from the water authority. The consent details what can and cannot be discharged and is made up of the volume and chemical content, or quality of the water.

Depending on the nature of the effluent, charges will generally be made up of:

  • Volume of wastewater
  • Settled solids
  • Suspended solids

If trade effluent is discharged that exceed the limits of the consent, a company could face substantial fines, and criminal prosecution.

How does the EA or the water company check the effluent?

If you don’t have monitoring equipment in place, trade effluent officers working for the water company will take spot samples of the water to calculate your bills. COD and BOD attract higher charges as it strips the oxygen out of the water.

If you’re unsure what is being discharged and don’t want an unexpected bill, or you’ve received a bill that is higher than you expected, a short term flow and load survey can help. The problem with spot samples is that the effluent taken may not be representative of the site. A flow and load survey can provide more accurate information taken over a period of time and can be used to query or challenge a bill.

Equipment for monitoring trade effluent

Detectronic has a range of trade effluent monitoring systems to help keep you compliant and can save you money. For instance, by monitoring the amount of water used in your process and subtracting the amount from your incoming water, gives you the information to improve processes and reduce waste.

We’ve already mentioned that COD and BOD attracts higher charges. If you know your levels, introducing a simple aeration process to put the oxygen back into the water will reduce your bills.

Are you interested in obtaining ISO 14001 or ISO 50001? Did you know that monitoring trade effluent is a requisite for accreditation?

Flow monitoring

Typically to monitor the volume of wastewater would require the installation of a primary device such as a weir or a flume and a flow meter.

Sites may vary considerably and different flow meters are better suited to certain environments. Detectronic can help you in selecting the most suitable flow monitor to give you the most accurate results.

See below an example of the different points Detectronic can help monitor flow.

Monitoring water quality

The ORAKEL system is a versatile product range which lets you monitor water flow, water levels and water quality simultaneously.

Uniquely designed to be modular, up to 16 sensors can be added to one control unit, all measuring different parameters.

pH and temperature are two parameters regularly included on a consent. All our pH sensors have integrated temperature sensors.

Other parameters that may be included in your consent licence include:

  • Conductivity
  • Turbidity or suspended solids
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Chlorine
  • COD, BOD and TOC

    Waste Water and Trade Effluent disposal insert sheet.


    Detectronic featured an informative insert sheet about waste water and trade effluent in the November 2016 issue of Process & Controls Magazine.

    If you do not subscribe to this publication, please download your copy of the insert here.




    Depth Transducer Monitor

    Detectronic’s MSFM Lite Depth Transducer Monitor is specifically designed to measure liquid level in boreholes, reservoirs and tanks. It is suitable for clean water applications and sites which are located in sewers or other potentially explosive atmospheres.

    Download this datasheet here

    Nationwide Users Include

    Industries presently using Detectronic systems to monitor waste water disposal include: car manufacturing, chemical production, electronics, metals, rail, healthcare and food processing.

    Other users include county councils, the Ministry of Defence and water utility companies.

    Watch our Predictive Data Monitoring Video here

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