• Trade effluent FAQs

    COD, SS, Mogden Formula?

    Better understand the terminology for trade effluent by downloading our Jargon Buster .

    Trade effluent is wastewater that businesses discharge to the public sewer. It usually requires consent as it can impact the environment, the sewage treatment processes and infrastructure.

    Trade effluent does not include domestic discharges, such as toilet flushing or hand washing.

    It does include wastewater from any trade activity such as commercial laundries, food preparation, manufacturing, metal plating, etc.

    Some businesses don't require trade effluent consent including: 

    • schools
    • cinemas
    • restaurants
    • hotels
    • nursing homes.


    It is illegal to discharge trade effluent to sewer without consent.

    To find out if your business needs trade effluent consent please contact us.

    You will need to contact us to start a consent application (form G/02 for permanent and G/03 for temporary (less than six months).

    The sewerage Wholesaler will usually determine the consent within two months.

    Sometimes it can take longer - especially if new infrastructure or treatment processes are needed.

    If you're thinking of a new or substantial change in the strength or volume of your discharge, contact us as soon as possible.

    There is a consent application charge. When your consent is issued, you'll need to pay treatment charges based on the volume and strength of your discharge.

    The consent may include:

    • Limits on the daily volume and flow rate.
    • Limits on the concentration of solids, organic matter, harmful constituents and temperature.
    • Requirements for flow measurement, sampling access and monitoring equipment.

    It will also specify the sampling point, discharge to sewer location and general requirements for monitoring and record keeping.

    Please  contact us  to see if you need to apply for consent.

    Refusals are rare. However, the Sewerage wholesaler may refuse a consent if:

    • There is no spare capacity in the receiving sewers and treatment works.
    • The effluent is unsuitable for discharge to the public sewer.

    If consent is not approved, reasons will be given, and you will have the right to appeal the decision. 

    Contact us as soon as possible if there's a significant change in the strength, composition or volume of your discharge. A change could impact the environment, our sewage treatment process or infrastructure.

    The sewerage Wholesaler will notify you of any failed samples they have taken and they will share the results with you. You will be asked to provide a detailed action plan of how you intend to prevent breaches and ensure future discharges are compliant.

    water2business can support you in submitting an action plan that will be accepted by the sewerage Wholesaler.

    Persistent non-compliance or a serious breach of consent can lead to cost recovery, enforcement action and prosecution for a breach of the Water Industry Act 1991.

    When moving premises, you must contact water2business and we will send you a form for completion to terminate your consent.

    You will need reapply for consent for your new premises as trade effluent consents cannot be transferred. For more information visit our trade effluent consent web page.

    In the event of an emergency, you must contact your sewerage Wholesaler immediately as soon as you're aware of it.

    The Wholesaler may be able to take action to contain and limit the environmental damage.

    If chemicals spill to surface water you will need to contact the  Environment Agency .

    If your trade effluent treatment process breaks down contact your sewerage Wholesaler immediately. Untreated trade effluent discharge can impact the environment, sewage treatment process and infrastructure.

    water2business can assist you with trade effluent treatment solutions, please contact us to find out more.

    Contact us if you'd like to try to reduce your charges. We offer a range of solutions that can help lower your charges. To find out more visit our trade effluent services page.
    If you run a car wash you need to apply for trade effluent consent as sewers and surface water need protecting from the oil and grit your car wash generates. Contact us to find out more.

    If you run a mobile business that provides services including bin washing, vehicle valeting, central heating drainage, steam cleaning, etc, you need to apply for trade effluent consent. Wastewater should never be disposed to a highway drain or surface water gulley.

    Any continuous operation will require trade effluent consent - please contact us to find out more. Temporary or one-off discharges (less than six months) will also require authorisation by the sewerage Wholesaler.

    If you are building a new development, you should apply for consent in advance of the discharge commencing. This will ensure that there is available capacity to accept the new discharge and that any requirements for pre-treatment (such as monitoring equipment, screens or settlement tanks) can be built into the development rather than fitted later.

    At water2business we deal with all enquiries relating to: 

    • Your trade effluent bill.
    • Faulty trade effluent meters.
    • Advising trade effluent flow information.
    • General trade effluent treatment advice.
    • Trade effluent sampling/monitoring.
    • Waste minimisation.
    • Consultancy and training.

    If you are not a water2business customer yet, please  contact us to find out how to switch your business to us.

    If you are installing or replacing a trade effluent flow meter you will need to submit a form to the sewerage Wholesaler - contact us  for more information.
    If your business stops discharging trade effluent discharge please  contact us . We will arrange to discontinue or terminate your trade effluent consent.
  • Find out if your business needs trade effluent consent

    If your business is discharging non-household sewage (trade effluent) to the public sewer, you will need to obtain consent.

    Trade effluent consent

    We routinely inspect and sample trade effluent discharges to check compliance with consent conditions

    Trade effluent sampling
  • Need to apply for trade consent or have any questions?

    Contact us