What is trade effluent consent?

Trade effluent consent is delivered by means of a license or permit that is issued by the respective water company to a business or facility that produces wastewater, specifically ‘trade effluent’.

Understanding trade effluent

In order to fully understand the term ‘trade effluent consent’, let’s first take a look at what is meant by trade effluent.

Trade effluent is any liquid waste that is discharged into a public foul sewer from a business or as a result of an industrial process – this does not include domestic sewage such as water from washing or toilets. Trade effluent could be run off from a commercial car wash or water used in the production of food & drink. It is liquids utilised in the manufacture of chemicals or engineering processes, right through to the fluids that need to be disposed from the operation and maintenance of swimming pools.

How do I acquire trade effluent consent?

All premises that discharge wastewater in the form of trade effluent, even if it’s a only few litres per day, must provide specific details. You must complete a form and include the duration of discharge and whether that is under or over six months. The information provided to the respective Water and Sewerage Company (WASC) and Environmental Agencies.

Once received, the relevant parties assess the impact on the environment and water recycling centre within the catchment. This decision can take up to two months and consent may be refused. If awarded, it will be in the form of a trade effluent consent license or permit.

If you are successful in receiving a trade effluent consent license, it will outline a number of bespoke conditions and limits pertaining to exactly what you can discharge and how you are expected to measure compliance. All of these are legally binding. By complying with the trade effluent consent, disposal charges can be correctly addressed, and your business will meet its obligations under the Industrial emissions EU directive.

So, if you operate a trade effluent process, however seemingly insignificant, you must obtain trade effluent consent to discharge into the public foul sewer. Contact your WASC for an application form and feel free to give us a call if you need any support completing it or better understanding your trade effluent processes. We’ll be only too happy to answer any questions you may have.


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