What do I Need to do if I Have a Trade Effluent Consent?

If you discharge trade effluent (liquid waste generated as part of your business, trade or industrial process), you will need a Trade Effluent Consent from your local water company.  Our previous blog (read here) includes details on what a trade effluent consent is and why you need one; this blog will focus on what to do if you have one.

Review your consent

Once your consent is granted, or even if you’ve had one for a while, you need to review the details to ensure the information is correct and that you can comply with the conditions.  You need check to that the consent details are correct, including the discharge point, the process that generates the effluent and whether any pre-treatment takes place e.g. the effluent passes through an interceptor prior to discharge.  If any of the information is incorrect, you need to contact the water company to amend the consent.  You also need to be fully aware of the ongoing conditions.

Comply with your effluent conditions

When you have a consent and you are discharging effluent, you will need to ensure that you comply with its conditions.  Typically, the consent will have limits for what can be in the discharge, e.g. substances that must not be discharged and limits on certain parameters such as COD (chemical oxygen demand), temperature, pH or suspended solids.  Additionally, you may need to monitor your effluent which could involve equipment installation, including maintenance and calibration or periodic sampling.

Communicate with your water company

There will be certain requirements to communicate with the water authority, particularly if there are any changes that will affect your discharge e.g. changes in process, activity or address.  Additionally, if you have any monitoring conditions, you may be required to share them with the water company.  You should communicate with the water company if you require any amendments to your consent or if you have any issues with your discharge quality.

Be proactive

To remain within consent, you should maintain your pollution controls such as servicing interceptors and drainage networks, correct storage of oils and chemicals and provision of spill kits.  For peace of mind and to demonstrate you are proactive, you may want to periodically sample your effluent to identify any compliance issues.  If your samples, or samples that the water company has taken fail, you should take actions to establish the reason and put measures in place to correct the issue.  You may consider re-sampling to ensure your actions have been effective and should inform the water company of what you have done to resolve the issue.

If you discharge effluent, you must have a valid trade effluent consent in place.  You must check to ensure that the consent is correct and take action to comply with the conditions.  It is important to control your effluent discharge, be proactive and maintain a good relationship with your water company.