How to Obtain an Effluent Discharge Licence

Any company that discharges the following requires an effluent discharge licence: 

  • Trade effluent (including cooling water) to waters 
  • Sewage effluent to waters 
  • Trade effluent (including cooling water) to sewers 

Under the provisions of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts 1977 and 1990 and the Water Services Act 2007 to 2013, local authorities are responsible for the issuing of effluent discharge licences for effluents discharged to waters and Irish Water are responsible for effluent discharges to sewers. 

  • Application to Discharge Trade Effluent or Sewage Effluent to Waters (Section 4 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977 should be made to the relevant local authority on a standard application form obtained from that local authority.  
  • A licence is required from Irish Water for any trade effluent or other matter (other than domestic sewage or storm water), discharged to a sewer controlled by Irish Water.

Completed application forms together with supporting documentation needs to be submitted to the licensing authority, including:

  • Maps, plans and such other particulars as are necessary to describe the premises, drainage systems and any works apparatus or plant from which the effluent is to be discharged, in order to identify the waters to which the discharge is to be made. 
  • Plans and other particulars necessary to describe the premises, drainage system, discharge points, etc from which the effluent is to be discharged
  • Technical details relating to the nature, composition, anticipated temperature, volume and rate of discharge and/or the proposed method of any treatment of the effluent and the period or periods during which the effluent is to be discharged.
  • Control measures and risk management to mitigate against accidental or unauthorised discharges.

Additional reports may be required fro discharges to waters or where discharges are to be located in sensitive areas and on or near on Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas:

  • Appropriate Assessment
  • Natura Impact Assessment
  • Environmental Impact Assessment

For more information on how to obtain the most appropriate discharge licence for your business, please contact ECOS.

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