Trade Effluent

Trade effluent is anything which is not domestic sewage (toilet, bath or handwashing waste) or uncontaminated surface water and roof drainage (rainwater).

Waste water discharges from hotels, pubs, restaurants, takeaways and caravan parks are not classed as trade effluent. They are, however, regulated under Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991. Premises found to be discharging fats, oils, greases and food scraps to sewer, which then cause blockages or prove injurious to the safe operation of our assets, can be prosecuted.

"any liquid, either with or without particles of matter in suspension in the liquid, which is wholly or partly produced in the course of any trade or industry carried on at a trade premises."

Any waste water produced in the course of a trade or industry carried out at commercial or business premises is classed as “trade effluent”. Trade Effluent will include any waste water derived from a production process or from washing down or cooling activities.

Trade effluent can damage our sewers, sewage treatment processes and the watercourses we discharge to. It can also affect the health and safety of anyone working in or around our sewerage network.

We need to ensure that our infrastructure and treatment processes work effectively, so that we can return your treated wastewater safely back into the environment.

We need to know if you plan to discharge anything other than domestic waste into a drain which is connected to a public sewer. It is your responsibility to obtain consent prior to commencing any trade effluent discharge. If you are planning to discharge anything other than domestic waste into a drain that’s connected to a public sewer, it is likely that you’ll need to obtain consent before you commence any discharge. Please contact your appointed Retailer to discuss this.

All Trade Effluent applications or requests to change existing Trade Effluent discharges must be made using a standard document, known as the G/02 form.

Please note that you will need to speak to your appointed Retailer if you have any questions about the application form, you will also need to submit the completed form through your Retailer. Please note that any forms without Retailer details will be returned.

In addition to the completed G/02 form, you will also need to submit a comprehensive plan of your site drainage system, showing the route taken by the trade effluent discharge to the public sewer.

It is a criminal offence under Section 118 (5) of the Water Industry Act to discharge any trade effluent to sewer without the consent of the Sewerage Undertaker (Severn Trent Connect). You may be subject to legal action if you discharge without consent.

If your business manufactures or processes materials such as chemicals, metal finishing, food and drink, or if you operate a small launderette or car wash, it is likely that you will need a trade effluent consent from Severn Trent Connect.

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

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

Once we have received your fully completed Trade Effluent Notice, we must either grant or refuse consent within 2 months. Failure to issue consent within this period does not give you ‘deemed’ consent to discharge.

In some circumstances, it may be impossible to meet your requirements, and consent may be refused. We’ll inform you of the exact reasons for refusal, and advise you on how to proceed. If you think that the conditions imposed are too stringent or believe that we took too long to respond, we recommend that you contact your local Commercial Waste Adviser.

If you are unable to resolve any issues, you have the right of appeal to the Director General of Water Services at the Office of Water Services (Ofwat), City Centre Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham B5 4UA.

Note that an application made to discharge ‘Special Category’ effluent must be referred by Severn Trent Connect to the Environment Agency. We must await the Environment Agency decision before issuing consent.

The Trade Effluents (Prescribed Process and Substances) regulations 1989, amended 1990, specify a number of processes and substances as ‘Special Category’. A list of these can be found in the Trade Effluent Notice. The Environment Agency will either refuse the ‘Special Category’ discharge, or serve a Notice of Determination jointly on Severn Trent Connect and the customer. This Notice of Determination requires that certain conditions are not exceeded when imposed within the Consent to the discharge of Trade Effluent issued to the customer by Severn Trent Connect.

The consent to discharge trade effluent will be issued in the name of your business, at the address of your trade premises, and only permits discharge of the effluent specified. Please ensure that you read your consent document carefully, and store it in a safe place, as it is a legal document. The consent is likely to contain limits for:

  • Maximum daily volume
  • Maximum rate of discharge
  • Maximum and minimum pH
  • Suspended solids
  • Chemical Oxygen Demand
  • Temperature
  • Further quality limits specifically based upon the nature and composition of the effluent, as stated in the Trade Effluent Notice
  • Any substance likely to produce flammable, harmful or toxic vapours will not be permitted
  • Any appropriate condition will be set to ensure that discharges do not cause a nuisance in the sewerage network or at sewage treatment works, interfere with sewage treatment processes, prejudicially affect any watercourse or pose a threat to the health and safety of our employees or the general public.

Method of sampling, measurement of effluent and charging methodology will also be referred to.

It may be necessary for you to install pre-treatment prior to discharging the effluent to sewer, or put in place other risk control measures to mitigate any adverse effects, in order to meet the conditions of your consent.

All of the conditions and limits stated in your consent to discharge are legally binding. Failure to comply with these conditions and limits can result in prosecution.

Trade effluent discharges containing any substance not previously declared on the Trade Effluent Notice are illegal, and therefore liable to prosecution.

You must give us notice, in writing, of the following:

  • Any proposed changes to the nature or constituents of the trade effluent
  • Any proposed changes to the rate of discharge or daily volume discharged
  • A proposed change of ownership of the trade premises
  • Any proposed change to the name of the company or partnership

You must also notify us if you cease trading, or no longer wish to discharge trade effluent, so that the necessary amendments can be made and your bills can be corrected. You will be required to return your consent document.

Consents are not transferrable from one company to another.

If you sell the company to a new owner, merge the company with another company, are taken over by another company, or in any way change the legal status of the company from that to which the discharge consent was granted, the new company must apply for a new consent.

Failure to hold a consent in the correct company name renders the trade effluent discharge illegal, and means that your company could be prosecuted. Discharge would not be illegal if a Certificate of Incorporation was immediately sent to our Trade Effluent team at Severn Trent Connect, Severn Trent Centre, 2 St J

Public register

We are required to keep a register of trade effluent consents and associated documents, to which the public must be given access. The register is currently held at our offices in Coventry.

Take prompt action to prevent or minimize any discharge to your site drains and the sewerage network.

Ensure that you have an incident procedure in place, and that all staff are familiar with it. Site drainage plans and materials Safety Data sheets should be readily available.

Any material spilled should be prevented from entering drains if at all possible, but if any of it does get into the site drainage system, please contact us immediately on 0345 450 9549 with details of the substances involved, location of the spillage and likely quantities discharged.