Trade effluent

/Trade effluent
Trade effluent2018-11-06T13:53:36+00:00

Trade effluent

How we can help your business monitor and manage your impact on the environment.

In this section, we’re focusing on trade effluent, what it is and what it means to your business. If you want to learn more about trade effluent and how you can apply for trade effluent consent, you’ve come to the right place.

You will find the following information:

  • What is trade effluent
  • What is trade effluent consent and why do you need it
  • How to apply for trade effluent consent
  • Trade effluent consent guidance

If you have any questions or wish to discuss your application, obtain further advice, you can get in touch with us on 0330 111 0780.

Why is trade effluent important?

The water that you and your business use is abstracted from rivers, reservoirs and groundwater sources.  Before it reaches your pipes, it has been treated so it is ready for you to use. Most of the water that we all use generates a waste effluent. This waste effluent is usually disposed of into local sewer networks. This network transports your waste effluent to a water recycling centre where it is cleaned with various physical, chemical and biological processes. After cleaning it is returned to the environment where it can be abstracted again for drinking water purposes, irrigation or recreational activities.

This is everyone’s water and it is important that we all make sure our sewage network and recycling systems are designed to accommodate the waste effluents discharged into it.

This helps us make sure we protect public health and maintain a clean environment.

If you misuse the system, it can have serious consequences for the environment and public health. This is why we all must make sure all trade effluents are legally discharged and in accordance with a consent.

Please Note

It is an offence under section 118 of the Water Industry Act 1991 to discharge trade effluent without consent, so it’s important that you obtain one prior to making a discharge.  Failure to obtain a consent may lead to enforcement action being taken by Icosa Water and this may result in prosecution.

If you’re currently discharging trade effluent without a consent you must contact your retailer immediately. 

Trade effluent is the liquid waste discharged into our sewers and drains from your business or industrial process. This covers anything that’s not domestic sewerage i.e kitchen, toilet, bath, shower, hand basin or washing waste.

Wastewater discharged from hotels, pubs, restaurants, takeaways, caravan parks are not classified as trade effluent, they are however regulated under Section 111 of the Water Industry Act. These premises must not be found to be discharging fats, oils, or food scraps into the sewers. These substances causes blockages of the sewer network.

Blockages not only jeopardise the safe operation of the sewer network but also the staff who enter the network to clean it. Therefore, to help protect the health and safety of it’s Operational Teams Icosa Water will prosecute persistent offenders.

The table below shows examples of commercial and industrial properties that produce wastewater and whether the wastewater is classified as trade effluent or not.

Trade Effluent Examples

YesNo
Commercial car washKitchen and toilets at commercial properties
LaundrettesRestaurants, pubs and hotels
Food and drink productionHairdressers
Chemical ManufacturesDentists
Metal FinishesCare homes
EngineeringDomestic swimming pools
Commercial swimming pools

Examples of temporary trade effluent

Heating system flushing
Groundwater remediation

Please note: these tables are indicative and not exclusive.

For a full legal definition of trade effluent in section 141 of the Water Industry Act 1991.

What is a consent?

A consent is a legal document issued by Icosa Water in our role as a regulator using the powers set out in the Water Industry Act 1991. The ‘Consent’ will contain a list of conditions which must be continuously complied with. The ‘Consent’ will include conditions to control the quality and quantity of the trade effluent discharged.

Depending on the industrial or manufacturing activity together with the materials handled at the site consents will contain numeric limits for one or more of the parameters listed below.

PLEASE NOTE: This list is not exhaustive.

  • ORGANIC LOAD – Chemical and biological oxygen demand may be limited this is determined on an individual basis and is in place to prevent overloading of the wastewater treatment processes to ensure we manage our impact on the environment.
  • SUSPENDED SOLIDS – Suspended solids can cause siltation and blockages in the sewerage system. Total suspended solids at pH7 is determined on an individual basis.
  • SEPERABLE OIL AND GREASE – Separable oil and grease can build up within the sewer leading to odour, blockages and subsequent foul flooding. Oil and grease can also build up on equipment such as pumps and cause operational difficulties at pumping stations and treatment works.
  • AMMONIACAL NITROGEN – Ammonia can cause unsafe sewer atmospheres and toxicity problems in watercourses for aquatic animals. It is classified as dangerous for the environment. A guideline limit is 250mg/l however this is determined on an individual basis.
  • pH – The normal range of pH allowed is 6 to 10. Extremes of pH can lead to unsafe working environments, affect biological treatment systems and damage the sewer fabric network.
  • SULPHATE – A guideline limit is 1000mg/l, as Sulphate can cause damage to concrete structures.
  • TEMPERATURE – This is limited by statute to a maximum of 43.3°C.
  • TOXIC METALS – This group includes the metals; antimony, beryllium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, selenium, silver, tin, vanadium and zine. Metals can cause a range of problems the presence of toxic metals can inhibit biological treatment processes and they may accumulate in the environment.
  • VOLUME – This parameter is normally limited to a number of cubic metres per 24 hour period and a rate of discharge in litres per second and is determined on an individual basis.
  • METHANE – Methane can cause unsafe sewer atmospheres. For this reason, it is limited at 0.14mg/l.
  • FLAMMABLE SUBSTANCES – Flammable substances or substances which can produce flammable or explosive atmospheres will be prohibited or controlled to safe levels.
  • HYDROGEN CYANIDE – Hydrogen cyanide is highly toxic and can inhibit treatment processes. The limit is not greater than 1mg/l.
  • HYDROGEN SULPHIDE – The limit for substances that can produce hydrogen sulphide upon acidification is normally 1mg/l. Hydrogen sulphide is a toxic gas that can build up in the sewer atmosphere, leading to hazardous working conditions. Hydrogen sulphide also has a very pungent odour which can cause smell nuisance.
  • OTHER CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES – Certain substances are controlled under European directives and a list of these substances is included in the application form for a consent (Annex 1 form G02). The list includes the metals cadmium and mercury, chlorinated solvents and a range of pesticides. These substances are controlled as they are considered persistent within the environment and can accumulate through the food chain. They can also inhibit biological treatment processes.
  • OTHER SUBSTANCES – Other substances that may be present in the discharge will be assessed and controlled on an individual basis. To ensure compliance with Section 130 of the Water Industry Act 1991 Icosa Water may consult with and/or seek advice from the Environment Agency to set limits for some parameters or chemicals. Tis process helps ensure that headroom (the difference between the actual discharge and the consent limit) is managed in a way that maximises available capacity for further economic growth.

However, this list is not exhaustive.

We need to know if you plan to discharge anything other than domestic waste into a drain which is connected to a public sewer network.

It is your responsibility to obtain consent prior to commencing any trade effluent discharge. It is a criminal offence under Section 118 (5) of the Water Industry Act to discharge any trade effluent to sewer without the consent from Icosa Water. If your business operates within one of our appointed areas, you may be subject to legal action if you discharge without consent.

If your business manufactures or processes materials such as:

  • Chemicals,
  • Metal finishing,
  • Engineering work
  • Food and drink,
  • Laundry, launderette or car wash,
  • Leisure centre with a swimming pool(s)

And has an operation within one of our appointed areas it is likely that you will need trade effluent consent from Icosa Water.

Please see our areas here

  • West Raynham
  • Rosewood Park
  • Broadland Gate

Short term discharges (e.g. contaminated groundwater from land remediation/building projects, flushing of central heating/cooling systems in commercial premises, etc.) are also subject to temporary trade effluent authorisation.

Please contact us to discuss any enquiry you have relating to waste water discharging from your premises.

Discharge of trade effluent to Icosa Waters public sewer network may only be made with the consent of Icosa Water. The consent is a legal document which authorises a trade discharge, subject to certain conditions.

It is your responsibility to obtain permission prior to making a discharge to the public sewer network. To obtain permission you must complete and submit an application form.

Apply for Trade Effluent Consent.

You will also find additional guidance on completing and submitting your application.

The water that you and your business use is abstracted from rivers, reservoirs and groundwater sources. Before it reaches your pipes, it has been treated so it is ready for you to use.

Most of the water that we all use generates a waste effluent. This waste effluent is usually disposed of into local sewer network. This network transports your waste effluent to a water recycling centre where it is cleaned with various physical, chemical and biological processes. After cleaning it is returned to the environment where it can be abstracted again for drinking water purposes, irrigation or recreational activities.

This is everyone’s water and it is important that we all make sure our sewage network and recycling systems are designed to accommodate the waste effluents discharged into it.

This helps us make sure we protect public health and maintain a clean environment.

If you misuse the system, it can have serious consequences for the environment and public health. This is why we all must make sure all trade effluents are legally discharged and in accordance with a consent.

Download our leaflet on trade effluent for further information, by clicking here.

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