Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Trade effluent – Managing liquid wastes

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. It can be effluent from the industrial or business process that is discharged into a public sewer, washed down a sink or toilet, or put into a private sewer that connects to the public sewer.

You will need to comply with legal restrictions regardless of how much trade effluent your business discharges.

Trade effluent may be waste water contaminated with materials such as:

  • fats, oils and greases
  • chemicals
  • detergents
  • heavy metal rinses
  • solids
  • food wastes

(Macerated food waste is banned from sewers in most cases from 1 Jan 2016 in Scotland, and from 1 April 2017 in Northern Ireland)

What is not trade effluent?

Liquid wastes which are not classed as trade effluent are:

  • domestic sewage, which includes wastewater from kitchen sinks, showers and toilets
  • clean, uncontaminated surface water, ie clean rainwater which has not been contaminated when running over your site

Additional resources

Environmental News Blog

  • Stay informed: Coronavirus (COVID-19), In this challenging time, NetRegs’ running organisations the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) have created information websites to keep you informed on the current situation....

  • NetRegs: Supporting businesses across Scotland and Northern Ireland, Businesses in Scotland and Northern Ireland have a huge role to play in helping to deliver world-leading climate change action, not only by ensuring environmental compliance, which is non-negotiable, but going beyond compliance to achieve a low carbon and circular economy.

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!

Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms