Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You will need to pre-treat most effluent from tanneries before you discharge it to sewer. You will need to extensively treat effluent before you discharge it to a watercourse.
If you carry out batch processes, you should carefully manage your effluent to avoid discharging large quantities to the treatment plant at one time. These 'shock loads' could affect the performance of the treatment plant.
You must have permission from your environmental regulator before you discharge any sewage, effluent or contaminated run-off to the water environment. You must have a discharge consent (Northern Ireland) or an authorisation (Scotland).
You must comply with any conditions in your consent or authorisation.
Before you discharge trade effluent into a public sewer you must have a trade effluent consent or enter into a trade effluent agreement with your water and sewerage operator. Once you have a consent or agreement, you must comply with its conditions.
If you spread sludge from effluent treatment plants onto agricultural or non-agricultural land, you must have a waste management licence or registered exemption. For information on what you must do, see our guidance for farmers on landspreading waste.
Effluent treatment plants are designed for specific processes, depending on the quality and quantity of the effluent. If you make a change to your process, always consider the effect this change will have on your treatment plant.
Further advice on pollution control techniques is available from Envirowise.
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