What are trade effluent charges?

A wide variety of companies and organisations across different industries create trade effluent as the result of a specific process or activities such as producing food & drink, building cars or developing medicines.

If your business produces trade effluent that is then discharged into public sewers, you must have a consent license to do so. In order to safely and effectively treat that trade effluent before it can be returned back into to the network, your company will be charged accordingly by your respective water company.

How are trade effluent charges calculated?

Trade effluent charges are as individual as your company itself with no two consent licenses or bills being the same. Water companies work out what trade effluent charges are applied by evaluating the quantity and quality of effluent each company discharges.

Each consent to discharge trade effluent license will contain several conditions and limits to discharge, all of which are legally binding. Every licence is unique and will include bespoke requirements that your company must meet. For example, any chemical parameters included will be based solely on the individual processes or manufacturing programmes.

How your company’s trade effluent charges are determined is relatively straightforward. The estimation for your annual charges will be calculated using the actual volume of trade effluent being discharged along with the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) concentration and the solids concentration of that effluent.

Effective trade effluent monitoring

As such, having a comprehensive and clear picture of your trade effluent discharge is key to ensuring you’re being charged correctly. The only way to achieve this is through robust trade effluent monitoring which is where the team here at Detectronic come in!

Our MSFM MCERTS flow meter provides highly accurate waste water flow measurement for sites that require verification by MCERTS inspectors, something that is likely to be a stipulation on you consent license. Likewise, our ORAKEL System is a highly versatile control and display unit that can accommodate up to 16 sensors to measure different flow and quality characteristics for a fully bespoke solution for wastewater and industrial water monitoring environments. Water quality sensors can also be incorporated to measure pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen levels and other indicators.

So, to ensure your trade effluent charges are as precise as possible (who wants to be overcharged?!) implementing monitoring to fully understand volumes, flows, temperatures or chemical composition is an absolute must. It will also enable you to meet the statutory obligations outlined in your trade effluent license.


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