Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Dealing with effluent that cannot go to foul sewer

Dealing with effluent that cannot go to foul sewer

If your effluents are unsuitable for discharging to the public sewer, or there is no public sewer available, you could:

  • change your process so you do not produce the effluent or certain substances
  • treat the effluent on site before discharging it to a sewer
  • pay for it to be taken away for off-site treatment.

If you cannot discharge an effluent to the public sewer it will be classed as waste. You must comply with your duty of care responsibilities when dealing with your waste.

Duty of care – your waste responsibilities.

Your water and sewerage company may not accept discharges of effluents that contain substances which may harm the sewer or treatment process, or be harmful to human health. Harmful substances include:

  • oil and fats
  • solvents
  • working solutions containing heavy metals
  • complex organic mixtures
  • flammable materials
  • liquids with a very high or a very low pH
  • other materials likely to damage the sewer, or harm people working in the sewer.

Your water and sewerage company will advise you if your effluent can be accepted to the public sewer. If it cannot be accepted, you will need to consider other options for treatment or disposal.

In this Guideline

How to deal with Trade Effluent

Disposal top a public sewer

Dealing with effluent that cannot go to foul sewer

Disposal to land where no public sewer is available

Disposal to water where no public sewer is available

Using septic tanks and package treatment plants

Reducing and treating your trade effluent

Avoiding spills and unauthorised effluent discharges

Trade effluent environmental legislation

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