Chemical manufacturing environmental regulations

Chemical manufacturing trade effluent consents and agreements


Trade effluent is any liquid waste, other than domestic sewage and uncontaminated surface water, that you discharge from your business premises.

Discharges that your chemical manufacturing business might make to a sewer include:

  • run-off from car parking areas
  • trade effluent from industrial processes, eg sludges
  • water from cooling processes
  • water from washing and cleaning equipment

A public foul sewer collects foul water (sewage and trade effluent) only. A surface water sewer collects surface water drainage only. A public combined sewer collects both foul and surface water drainage.

You must dispose of sewage from domestic facilities, eg toilets, basins and kitchens, to either a public foul sewer or to a public combined sewer.

You must dispose of trade effluent to either a public foul sewer or to a public combined sewer.

You must dispose of clean uncontaminated water to either a separate surface water sewer or to a public combined sewer.

Discharges to public sewers - when you need permission

You must get permission from NI Water before you discharge to their drainage system. If you are a tenant you may need your landlord's permission to connect to a private surface water drain.

Before you release trade effluent into a public sewer you must have a trade effluent consent or enter into a trade effluent agreement with Ni water. Once you have a consent you must comply with its conditions - see discharging trade effluent.

You do not need permission to discharge sewage from domestic facilities to the nearest public foul sewer or to a public combined sewer. If you have any concerns about your discharges to sewer, contact NI Water.

If your business is in an area where you can't be connected to a public sewer, you may have a septic tank or package treatment plant. However, you will need authorisation from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.