Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You must have permission from your water and sewerage company before you discharge any trade effluent to the public sewer. The following measures will help you to minimise the chances of making any discharges accidentally.
Make sure you have an up-to-date and accurate drainage plan of your site. This will help you identify the locations of all the drains and sewers and where they lead.
You should discharge all trade effluent and sewage to the public sewer. Only discharge clean, uncontaminated water to the surface water drainage system.
Paint the drainage system manhole covers, gullies and grills on your site in the recognised colour-coding system - blue for surface water drains and red for foul water drains, or combined drains. This will help you identify where any spills will end up.
Investigate alternative materials and practices that do not produce effluents, eg reuse water for rinsing and cleaning where possible.
Store and handle raw materials, wastes, chemicals and fuels responsibly, so that they cannot enter the surface water and foul water drains on your site. See our guideline:
Keep spill kits near to where you might need them with clear instructions for their use. Make sure your staff know where they are and how to use them.
Spill kits might contain:
Make an inventory of all the equipment and materials you have on site. These should be suitable for the type and quantity of fuel, oil and chemicals you store and use.
See our guideline: Preventing water pollution.
Ensure you make any visiting contractors aware that they must not discharge any effluents to sewers without checking first that they can.
You must contain any spills and prevent them from entering site drains. You should also:
Avoiding spills and unauthorised effluent discharges
Guidance - Noise and vibration management: environmental permits, Guidance - Noise and vibration management: environmental permits
Environmental Plans, Principles and Governance for Northern Ireland – Synopsis of Responses, Public responses to the Discussion Document: Environmental Plans, Principles and Governance
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