Trade effluent is any liquid waste (other than domestic wastewater and storm water) that is discharged from a business premises to the public sewers. Trade effluent may contain materials such as fats, oils and grease, chemicals, detergents, heavy metal rinses or food waste.

Under Section 16 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977 (as amended), an individual or business may not discharge a trade effluent to the sewer except in accordance with a licence issued under these regulations.

To discharge trade effluent to the sewer, you must apply for a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence.

Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licences set out conditions that must be complied with. These may include:

  • The nature, composition and volume of the trade effluent discharge;
  • The method of treatment, the location of discharge and the periods during which discharge may be made;
  • The taking and analysis of trade effluent samples and the trade effluent records that must be kept; and
  • Applicable charges for discharging trade effluent, as approved by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).

Do I need a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence for my business?

Typically, the following establishments or premises should have a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence:

  • Premises where manufacturing or processing of chemicals or metal finishing takes place
  • Premises where food and drink manufacturing takes place
  • Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs
  • Caravan parks
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • Salons (hair, beauty etc)
  • Dentists
  • Launderettes & Dry Cleaners
  • Airports, bus and train stations
  • Public houses
  • Restaurants, cafés and takeaways
  • Universities, colleges, amenity and heritage centres
  • Service stations and/or car wash

Please note: The above list is not exhaustive and it’s a good idea to confirm if you are required to have a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence for your business. You can contact Irish Water for more information.

Licence to discharge to the sewer application

*All fields are mandatory

For more information on trade effluent, please call Irish Water on 1850 278 278

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