Discharge licences for effluents discharged to sewers

Whether your business is a small restaurant or a large multinational manufacturing industry, if it generates a wastewater which is discharged to a sewer, a discharge licence is required with very few exceptions.

discharge licenceIrish Water are responsible for the issuing of discharge licences for effluents discharged to sewers under the provisions of Section 7 of the Water Services (No.2) Act 2013, (which transfers part of the functions of the local authorities to Irish Water).  A licence which was issued under Section 16 of the (Water Pollution Act) 1977 shall continue to be in force for the unexpired period of the licence, as if granted by Irish Water.

  • Trade effluent is any liquid waste (other than domestic wastewater and storm water) that is discharged from a business premises to the public sewers.
  • Trade effluent may contain materials such as fats, oils and grease, chemicals, detergents, heavy metal rinses or food waste.
  • An individual or business may not discharge a trade effluent to the sewer except in accordance with a discharge licence.

Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licences set out conditions that must be complied with and may include:

  • The nature, composition and volume of the trade effluent discharge
  • The method of treatment, the location of discharge and the periods during which discharge may be made
  • The taking and analysis of trade effluent samples and the trade effluent records that must be kept Applicable charges for discharging trade effluent, as approved by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

Typically, the following establishments or premises should have a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence:

  • Premises where manufacturing or processing of chemicals or metal finishing takes place
  • Premises where food and drink manufacturing takes place
  • Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs
  • Caravan parks
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospitals
  • Salons (hair, beauty etc)
  • Dentists
  • Launderettes & Dry Cleaners
  • Airports, bus and train stations
  • Public houses
  • Restaurants, cafés and takeaways
  • Universities, colleges, amenity and heritage centres
  • Service stations and/or car wash

The above list is not exhaustive and it’s a good idea to confirm if you are required to have a discharge licence for your business.

In order to apply for a licence to discharge trade effluent to sewer you will need to submit an application to Irish Water.

Time and time again we come across businesses which have either had difficulties because they have not obtained a licence or have ended up with an unsustainable discharge licence.

  • The former can result in prosecution, cessation of production and negative publicity, all of which can be costly for the business.
  • Unsustainable discharge licence limits can result in similar difficulties

The discharge licence application form supplied by Irish Water must be accompanied by all relevant submissions, plans, documents and other relevant information to support the application, including:

  • Site Drawings
  • Site process schematics
  • Planning permission details
  • Effluent quality, discharge volume and flow details
  • Proposed effluent treatment details

For more information on how to manage the discharge licence requirements for your business please contact us.

T:  +353 (0) 61 633644

E:  info@ecos.ie

W: www.ecos.ie