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You are here: Home > Services > Trade effluent


How to apply for consent

It is your responsibility to obtain consent prior to making a discharge to the public sewer network. Discharging trade effluent without consent is a criminal offence.

To obtain consent you should contact your local commercial waste water advisor who will explain the application process. After considering the preliminary particulars, we will provide a trade effluent notice (TEN) for completion by you. TEN’s can be also be downloaded from the Wessex Water website.

On receipt of a completed TEN, Wessex Water must either grant or refuse consent within two months. Failure to issue consent within this period does not give you “deemed” consent to discharge.

Short term discharges (up to six months) for example contaminated groundwater from land remediation are subject to temporary trade effluent agreement. Further information can be found in our consents information.

What information is required?

To apply for consent you will need to provide the following information:

  • details of your company/partnership including the ownership and location of the trade premises
  • information on the nature and composition of trade effluent. It may be necessary to provide chemical analysis of the effluent to support your application
  • the maximum daily volume of trade effluent to be discharged
  • the maximum rate of flow.

Drainage plans

Accompanying the TEN must be a detailed site drainage plan showing all drains and manholes, those carrying trade effluent coloured red. A suitable sampling point must also be marked on the plan. Plans may be sketched although when requested by Wessex Water a more detailed plan must be provided. The applicant is responsible for the accuracy of all information provided.

If there is an existing sewer connection the point where the private drains connect to the sewer should be marked on this plan. If it is intended to make new connection to the public sewer approval must be obtained from Wessex Water’s developer team.

Special category effluent

If the discharge is of a special category nature we will need to refer the details to the Environment Agency and await its decision before issuing consent. Should this be required, the two-month period is suspended from the date on which the referral is made and re-commences from the date on which the referral is determined.

If you are unhappy with a refusal to grant consent or the imposition of conditions attached to a consent, you should speak to your commercial waste water advisor in the first instance. If any problem cannot be resolved between us, you can appeal to the Director General of Water Services at the Office of Water Services, Centre City Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham B5 4UA.

When a consent is issued it will be sent to your company secretary at the registered office, or in the case of a partnership or private business to the named partners/owners at the business or private address.

Wessex Water is required under law to keep a register of trade effluent consents and associated documents to which the public must be given access.

The register is held at Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7WW.

Varying the conditions of a consent

Wessex Water may vary the conditions of any consent by means of a Notice of Direction. New conditions imposed by the direction are subject to appeal provisions to the director general of water services. Appeals must be made within two months from the date the direction is issued or at any time later with the permission of the director general of water services. If you wish to seek a variation in your consent you should contact your commercial waste water advisor.

Consents are not transferable from one company to another. If you sell the company to a new owner, are taken over by another company, merge the company with another company or change the legal status of the company from that to which the original consent was granted, the new company will need to apply for a new consent. Failure to do so will mean that the discharge is illegal. (However this would not apply where the company forwards a Certificate of Incorporation to Wessex Water).

Key points

  • Discharge of trade effluent to the public sewer network without consent is a criminal offence
  • It is your responsibility to obtain consent
  • Application for consent should be made to your commercial waste water advisor
  • There is no consent application fee
  • Consent conditions are determined on an individual basis. With the exception of launderettes and vehicle washes there are no general levels for particular types of industry
  • Discharges from Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) authorised processes still require a trade effluent consent
  • Discharges of special category effluent must be referred to the Environment Agency before consent can be granted
  • Discharges of low level radioactive wastewater require Environment Agency authorisation
  • Trade effluent consents are available for public inspection at our office at Claverton Down, Bath
  • Breach of any condition of the trade effluent consent is a criminal offence and may render the consent holder liable for prosecution by Wessex Water.
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