Trade effluent

Trade effluent

If your business discharges non-household sewage (trade effluent) to the public sewer, you will need to obtain consent from us.


Latest Update - March 2021: please note the following guidance and position statement are valid until 21st June 2021 - Any applications for the disposal of waste beer or cider after this date will need to be made via your retailer in accordance with the market codes.

If you run or manage a pub in the Wessex Water area requiring to dispose of waste beer or cider due to the Covid-19 restrictions, please follow the guidelines below. See our regulatory position statement.

The disposal of beer or cider is not usually permitted. However, we recognise the challenge facing many businesses in this difficult period and want to help where possible, so we may temporarily allow waste beer to be disposed of into our wastewater network, under certain conditions and only while the regulatory position statement is valid.

Where it is not possible to return waste beer to the brewery/retailer or dispose of it via an alternative method, individual pubs can request permission to discharge to the public foul sewer.

Please contact us via email at and provide the following details:

  1. Location – The exact address of the premises from which you intend to discharge
  2. Quantity – The volume of beer/cider that you are proposing to discharge

We will use the information provided to assess the risk and whether we can safely receive the proposed discharge. We will respond with instructions as soon as possible. There will be no cost to your business.

Beer has a very high Biological Oxygen Demand content. It has the potential to adversely impact the treatment processes at our Sewer Network and/or Water Recycling Centres and therefore the environment. If you dispose of waste beer without permission from Wessex Water, you could be found in breach of the Water Industry Act 1991 which may result in a fine and/or criminal prosecution.