Consents and compliance

If your business is discharging trade effluent to the public sewer, you will need to obtain consent.

The consent, issued to the owner or occupier of the business premises, will contain legally enforceable conditions that control the volume and quality of the trade effluent discharged to the sewer.

The consent will contain conditions such as:

  • limits on daily volume and rate of discharge
  • limits on the concentration of solids and organic matter, and on dangerous or harmful constituents
  • temperature, pH and other chemical parameters;
  • the point of entry to the public foul sewer;
  • a suitable sampling point;
  • a requirement for regular compliance monitoring.

You may need to provide and maintain some form of on-site treatment to ensure your business can comply with the consent conditions. 
All conditions and limits in the consent are legally binding and failure to comply with these can result in prosecution. You will pay trade effluent charges based on the volume and strength of effluent discharged.

Types of consent

Permanent Consent

A consent that is issued in respect of a trade effluent discharge that will be made for a period in excess of 6 months duration from a defined premise. This type of consent is neither time limited nor temporary.

This type of consent is applied for using form G02.

Temporary Consent

A consent that is issued in respect of a trade effluent discharge that will be made for a period not exceeding 6 months. This type of consent will be time limited.

Below are some examples of Temporary discharges requiring a time limited consent:

  • Heated water system flushing
  • Contaminated water from decommissioning of disused tanks

Mobile or multisite activity may also be controlled through the use of a temporary consent.

Check with water2business to establish if this service is offered by the Wholesaler for your area and what activities are eligible.

This type of consent is applied for using form G03.

How to apply

Applications for consent need to be made via your waste water retailer.

If you are a water2business customer, please contact us on 0345 600 2 600 or email and we will email your application form and provide guidance on the application process.

If you are not a water2business customer, you can switch to us and then we will provide you with the above support. Alternatively we can act as your consultant.

Please note;an application and administration charge may be payable on submission of the application form for a new consent and for requests for variation to existing consents. This charge will vary depending on the wholesaler area and complexity of the application.

Attachments and additional information

When submitting your application, you must provide additional information including a detailed site drainage plan. Failure to do so may result in application being rejected.

If you do not have a site drainage plan, please contact us on 0345 600 2 600 or email for support.

Your sewerage wholesaler will routinely inspect and sample higher risk trade effluent discharges to check compliance with consent conditions and to determine the effluent strength for charging purposes.

What happens next?

Consent granted

Following issue of the Consent a trade effluent charge will be payable during the period of the consented discharge. This charge will capture the costs for the reception, conveyance, treatment and disposal of the trade effluent as is appropriate. Charges will be issued by water2business and will be determined by the Mogden formula. The trade effluent volume will usually be assessed using a pre-agreed method (either metered or estimated) and effluent strength will usually be determined by spot samples or a regional fixed strength for more common and uniform effluent. Further information on trade effluent charges is available here.

Consent declined

If a consent application is unsuccessful the Wholesaler will provide the reason(s) as to why it has been refused. If there is a refusal to give consent, or the conditions of the consent are not as required, or where the Wholesaler has taken over two months to issue the consent, there is a right of appeal to the regulator, OFWAT.

Monitoring and sampling

Periodically the Wholesaler may contact you or visit your premises, they may also take samples of your trade effluent to confirm that the quality of the discharge meets any conditions as specified in the consent and to determine the strength of the effluent for wholesale charging purposes. Some types of trade effluent discharge may not be sampled on a frequent basis due to the low risk posed e.g. car washes and laundrettes. Discharges that represent the highest potential risk will be sampled more regularly

You should contact water2business to understand the approach that your wholesaler will take in respect of your discharge and how to implement your own monitoring schedule.

The wholesaler will notify you of the analytical results of samples taken and identify any samples that have failed to comply with consent conditions indicating what follow up action is required.

Private meters

Your Wholesaler may require you to install flow measurement apparatus to accurately calculate trade effluent volumes discharged. This could include a trade effluent meter to directly record the trade effluent volume discharged or a private water meter to accurately determine any allowances that may need to be applied to the calculation.

If you need to install a private sub meter or wish to implement electronic flow measurement, please contact us on 0345 600 2 600 or email

It’s important that you submit your private meter readings at a frequency agreed with water2business to ensure you are billed accurately.

Further support

water2business have trade effluent expertise to help you to apply for consent and ensure that once the consent is issued you have specialist support available to stay compliant and minimise your trade effluent charges. We offer a range of services tailored to your individual needs:

  • Independent trade effluent sampling using a UKAS accredited laboratory
  • Automatic wastewater sampling equipment – hire or purchase
  • Trade effluent flow measurement
  • Waste minimisation surveys
  • Effluent treatment options review
  • Effluent treatment solutions
  • Trade effluent consultancy support
  • Trade effluent training

For more information please visit our trade effluent services.