Trade Effluent Discharges

Trade effluent discharges vary in their nature, composition, and volume depending on the business. There is also varying capacity in our sewers and wastewater treatment plants which means Irish Water must carefully assess and regulate all discharges to our sewer network in order to ensure that public health, our operations and the environment are fully protected.

Trade Effluent Licence

Trade effluent discharges to sewer are regulated by Irish Water or the EPA. You must have an Irish Water Trade Effluent Licence or an EPA licence to discharge trade effluent to the sewer. The type and scale of activity will determine the regulatory authority responsible for licensing the trade effluent discharged to the sewer.

A Trade Effluent Licence sets out conditions that businesses must comply 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
  • Applicable charges for discharging trade effluent, as approved by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU)

Licence Fees and Charges

The licence application fee is a once off payment and currently stands at €380. Charges for the provision of general water & wastewater services shall be as per charges as set out in Irish Water’s Charges Plan.

Businesses that require a Trade Effluent Licence

The following list gives examples of the types of businesses that should have a Trade Effluent Licence:

Food Service Establishments: restaurants, cafes, chippers, canteens where food is prepared, pubs where food is prepared etc are required to have a Trade Effluent FOG licence due to the fats, oils and grease content of their trade effluent

Fats, Oils and Grease: FOG is generated during the preparation of food and from any cleaning/washing up processes

Find out more about FOG

Apply for a Trade Effluent - FOG (Fats, Oils & Grease) Licence

A trade effluent discharge to sewer licence (issued under Section 16 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977, as amended) is a legal requirement if your business discharges trade effluent to a public sewer.

Apply Now

Other sectors that require a Trade Effluent Licence

Commercial: carwashes, service stations, hotels, launderettes, dry cleaners, swimming pools, spas, leisure centres, caravan parks etc

Institutional: hospitals, universities, healthcare facilities etc

Industrial Sector

The following list gives examples of the different industrial sectors that should have a Trade Effluent Licence:

Food & Drink Sector: meat/fish/dairy and food processing, breweries, distilleries, concentrates/soft drinks producers, bakeries, large-scale production kitchens, confectionary etc

Biopharma and Chemical Sector: chemicals, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, human and animal health etc

Waste Sector: landfills, waste transfer stations, recycling facilities, waste processing, treatment and storage facilities, Incinerators etc

Other: including manufacturing, engineering, construction & other sectors

Apply for a Trade Effluent Licence

In order to apply for a Trade Effluent Licence, you will be required to submit an application form including other required particulars as detailed on the application form.

Apply now

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