Discharging trade effluent

What is trade effluent?


Trade effluent is liquid waste that is discharged from large or small premises which are used in business, trade or industry.

Examples of trade effluent

Trade effluent may be waste water contaminated with materials such as:

  • fats, oils and greases
  • chemicals
  • detergents
  • heavy metal rinses
  • solids
  • food wastes

Macerated food waste has been banned from sewers in most cases since 1 April 2017.

Examples of common business activities which produce trade effluent include:

  • car washes
  • laundries
  • food and drink production
  • chemical manufacturers
  • engineering
  • swimming pools and leisure centres

What isn't trade effluent?

Liquid wastes which are not classed as trade effluent include:

  • domestic sewage, eg wastewater from kitchen sinks, showers and toilets
  • clean, uncontaminated surface water, ie clean rainwater which has not been contaminated when running over your site

You will need to comply with legal restrictions regardless of how much trade effluent your business discharges. People working in the confined space of a sewer can be at risk from even very small amounts of some chemicals.