Examples of trade effluent

There are many different examples of trade effluent that are the result of the varied processes and activities undertaken by companies operating across a number of industries.

Trade effluent is any liquid waste, other than surface water and domestic sewage, that is produced and discharged from an industrial or commercial premises, irrespective of size or location. It is discharged into a public foul sewer and travels via the sewer network to the nearest wastewater treatment works for handling and processing.

What sorts of companies produce trade effluent?

When we think of trade effluent, we tend to think of big chemical or engineering companies, or food & drink manufacturers that are producing goods on a vast scale. However, many businesses create trade effluent, even ones that don’t immediately spring to mind such as launderettes, leisure centres and commercial car washes.

What specific effluent do they create?

The majority of trade effluent is made up of wastewater, water that has been used in a certain process to create a specific product or facilitate production, including cooling machinery or pipes.

As well as the wastewater, trade effluent often comprises one or more contaminants such as:

• Fats, oils and greases (FOGs)
• Chemicals
• Detergents
• Heavy metal rinses
• Solids
• Food waste

Examples of trade effluent from a company that processes animals to create food, such as sausages or bacon, will potentially contain certain detergents and solids. A car manufacturer uses a variety of processes to build cars and its trade effluent could be contaminated with a mixture of oils, greases and chemicals. And a company that produces medicines will create trade effluent that could consist of a cocktail of different chemicals.

Trade effluent monitoring services

The Environment Agency stipulates that if you are discharging more than 50m3per day, you’ll need to monitor the flow with an MCERTS approved water flow meter. The MSFM MCERTS is one such water flow meter ideal for such a job.

On your consent licence, there may be specific water parameters you need to measure, such as COD, pH, or chlorine. The ORAKEL is a multi-parameter water quality instrument. It enables you to add multiple measurements to one system.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of trade effluent monitoring, please call the team on 01282 449 124 or email sales@detectronic.org.


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