In fewer words, it's the majority of wastewater produced by trade operations.
If you think your business needs a trade effluent consent, you need to get in touch with your water retailer.
They'll give you an application form, called a Trade Effluent Notice (G/02 Form).
Once you fill the form in, send it to us, and we'll consider your application. We'll keep you and your water retailer informed about key stages in the decision process.
If your application is unsuccessful, we will let you know why. You have the right to appeal to Ofwat if we:
We recommend that you get in touch with your retailer, or us, to resolve any issues before contacting Ofwat.
We're the main decision maker for your consent application, but sometimes the Environment Agency will also add additional conditions to your consent.
This is usually because of the substances involved in the discharge, or the processes. The conditions are focussed on the control of persistent or toxic substances.
If you need to alter your consent, or you no longer need it, you need to tell your retailer. You are responsible for making sure your consent is up to date and reflects the:
The public register of consents is available from Leat House, Washington, NE38 8LB.
The main piece of legislation on trade effluent is the Water Industry Act 1991.
Section 118(5) of this Act makes it an offence to discharge any trade effluent into a sewer without the consent of the sewerage undertaker. We're the sewerage undertaker, in this case.
The Trade Effluents (Prescribed Process and Substances) Regulations 1989, amended 1990, set out a number of processes and substances as ′Special Category′.
A list of these processes and substances can be found in the application form.
If an application is made for consent to discharge special category effluent then we must send the application to the Environment Agency, who will either refuse the discharge or serve a Notice of Determination on us, setting out requirements that certain conditions are not exceeded when imposed within the consent to the Discharge of Trade Effluent.
Any consent document will contain conditions such as the:
Quality parameters include Total Chemical Oxygen Demand, Suspended Solids and Oil and Grease.
Further quality conditions are applied based on the composition and type of effluent, as stated in the application.
Any consent may include conditions stating any requirements of a trader to monitor their discharge.
We may also monitor any discharge of trade effluent to assess consent compliance and for charging purposes.
A sample point is identified in the consent document from which we may sample the discharge at any time.
Information about our charging mechanism can be found within the large user tariffs section in our Charges Scheme document, found at the bottom of this page.
It is illegal, under section 118(5) of the Water Industry Act 1991 to discharge trade effluent without the consent of the sewerage undertaker.
It is also illegal, under section 111 of the same Act to discharge any matter likely to injure the sewer, interfere with the free flow of its contents or affect prejudicially the treatment and disposal of its contents.
Furthermore, it is an offence under section 121 of the Act to contravene, or break, any conditions imposed in any consent granted.
All three of these offences carry a maximum fine of £5,000 per offence on summary of conviction at Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine if referred to Crown Court.
In smaller cases, we may choose to offer a Formal Caution. We may also seek to recover any costs incurred in dealing with such matters, under the "polluter pays principle".