Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You should have a good working knowledge of your drainage systems. There are two types:
In Northern Ireland if you want to discharge anything other than clean, uncontaminated water into a surface water drain, or directly into surface water or groundwater, you must have a discharge consent from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).
In Scotland, if you discharge anything to the water environment you may require an authorisation from SEPA - See SEPA: Water - Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR). Some discharges are authorised if you comply with the general binding rules (GBR). In such cases, you do not need to apply for authorisation from SEPA.
You must comply with the conditions of your authorisation.
If your business discharges trade effluent to a public sewer, you must have a valid trade effluent consent from your water and sewerage company. See our guideline: Trade effluent – managing liquid wastes
You can take simple measures to use the right drainage system:
If no foul sewer is available, you may be able to use a septic tank or connect to a package sewage treatment plant.
Isolate run-off from refuelling areas from general yard drainage.
Cover areas at high risk of contamination, such as refuelling areas, to prevent run-off from rainfall. Where this is not possible you may need to channel run-off to a collection tank.
If your drainage goes to the foul sewer, you may be required to install an oil interceptor. You may need permission from your environmental regulator or water company to discharge wastewater from your oil interceptor or other treatment system.
You can only discharge roof water run-off directly to the surface water system if it is clean and uncontaminated. You must ensure that it does not pass through anything that could contaminate it, such as an oil interceptor.
Drainage system requirements to avoid pollution
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