What is trade effluent?

Some businesses need to apply to use our sewers for more than just domestic purposes. This is because they produce a lot of contaminated liquid waste that needs treating at our wastewater treatment works. This liquid waste is called trade effluent.

Drive through car wash
Explaining trade effluent

What it is

Trade effluent is any industrial liquid waste (other than surface water and domestic sewage) that’s discharged into a public sewer from business premises e.g. manufacturing, car washes, food processing etc. This liquid waste could be contaminated with: fats, oils and greases, chemicals, detergents, heavy metal rinses, solids, food wastes, soil and more.


Picture of a school bathroom
Explaining trade effluent

What it isn’t

We don’t class it as trade effluent if it’s domestic sewage. This includes wastewater from kitchen sinks, showers, and toilets, and domestically-derived wastewater from hospitals, hotels, caravan sites, restaurants, or educational establishments.

Why do I need trade effluent consent?

Our responsibility

We have a legal responsibility to manage the effluent draining into the public sewer. Highly contaminated waste requires more intense treatment before we can release it into the environment. Your trade effluent license helps us protect our network and our region's water supply.

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How do I apply?