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What is trade effluent?

What is trade effluent?

Trade effluent is any liquid waste (effluent), other than surface water and domestic sewage that is discharged from premises being used for a business, trade or industrial process.

Trade effluent can come from both large and small premises, including businesses such as car washes and launderettes, and can be discharged directly into a public sewer, washed down a sink or toilet, or put into a private sewer that connects to the public sewer.

Do I need a trade effluent consent?

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

If your premises have more than one connection to the sewer discharging trade effluent, then consent will be required for each connection.

Some industries already have a consent in place, if this is the case, it may be worthwhile to review this to ensure it is still suitable and sufficient for your current discharge.

How do I apply for a trade effluent consent?

To apply for consent, you will need to fill out an Application to Discharge form, available from the Manx Utilities web site:-

or from our Trade Effluent Engineer.

It is your responsibility to obtain consent prior to commencing any trade effluent discharge. 

Why do I need a trade effluent consent?

We need to know what is entering our sewers to allow us to:

  • ensure the continued health and safety of workers
  • enable effective transportation of effluent throughout the sewerage system
  • prevent the threat of nuisance to the general public, including blockages
  • prevent the overloading of sewers and possible flooding incidents
  • prevent the accumulation of flammable, harmful or toxic vapours
  • safeguard the fabric of the sewage transference system and treatment processes
  • ensure our treatment processes work effectively so we can return the treated wastewater back to the environment
  • adhere to regulatory requirements

What will a trade effluent consent contain?

Any form of authorisation issued by us is likely to include limits on the following:-

  • the nature and composition of the discharge
  • location of the sewer accepting the discharge
  • a limit on the maximum daily volume
  • a limit on the discharge rate
  • matter to be eliminated prior to discharge to the sewer-
    • Petroleum spirit
    • Calcium Carbide
    • Thiourea (toxic chemical compound) and Thiourea derivatives
    • Non bio-degradable detergents
  • the trade effluent shall not contain substances listed in Schedule 1 of the Trade Effluents (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations 1989 (UK)
  • a limit on the temperature of the discharge
  • a limit on the pH of the discharge

What information is required for a Trade Effluent Consent?

All sites will be categorised and the required information will be dependent on the category the site falls into.

This may be as simple as an indication of rate and volume of discharge, calculated by assessing the standard rate/volume/frequency of use of any plant on site producing a waste. A fixed strength/load, if required, can be set either by calculation or sampling.

If insufficient information is provided, then a Trade Effluent Consent cannot be issued

What if the nature of my business changes?

Your trade effluent consent is issued specifically in the name of your business (at the address of your premises) and only permits you to discharge effluent specified in the consent. However, your consent can usually be changed as required.

You should inform us in writing if there is any change:-

  • to the process or process materials or any other circumstances likely to alter the constituents of the trade effluen
  • to the name of your business
  • of ownership of the business/premises
  • in the address of the business

What happens if I do not adhere to the constraints set out in the Trade Effluent Consent?

If you are found to be contravening the consent, you will be contacted and given the chance to correct any issues relating to the failure to comply.  We may be able to give assistance with this in the form of advice/technical information.

If, after an agreed time, there is no improvement, you may be found to be in breach of the conditions set out in the Sewerage Act of 1999 and may be found guilty of an offence as set out in section 17(5) of the Act.

How do I obtain the main constituents of my discharge?

If you can obtain a sample of the discharge from within the boundary of your premises, it can be sent to an independent, accredited laboratory for analysis. This should include:-

  • Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
  • Heavy Metals
  • pH
  • Suspended Solids (SS)

The Government Laboratory may be able to help with this, please contact them in advance to arrange a suitable time as prior warning is required to allow them to set up for these tests.  They can be contacted on 642250.

How will my trade effluent be monitored?

All sites will be categorised and depending on the category they fall into a programme will be developed to monitor compliance. The favoured approach will be to implement a self-monitoring regime, wherever possible, supported by our audit programme.

Overall, the monitoring arrangements will consist of either one or a combination of the following:-

  • information provision by the customer (e.g. waste disposal notes)
  • results of self-monitoring by customer (i.e. analytical results)
  • audits of self-monitoring
  • progress reviews of improvement plans

Will I have to pay for a trade effluent consent?

Currently there are no charges levied by us for discharges into the sewer network, though this may be subject to review in the future.

Will I have to install additional plant/equipment?

If the discharge contains harmful chemicals/constituents, you may need to provide treatment to remove these chemicals so the discharge will have no detrimental effect on the transference/treatment of the sewage.

If it is deemed that the discharge requires monitoring, you may have to provide a suitable point to allow samples to be collected for analysis.

Otherwise, random samples may be taken by ourselves from the sewer to monitor your discharge and assess the effects it may have on our assets.

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