Trade Effluent to Sewer Discharge Licence: Is Your Business In Danger Of Prosecution?

Non-compliance with Discharge licence

Trade Effluent to Sewer Discharge Licence: Is Your Business In Danger Of Prosecution?

Discharge Licences are one of our priorities as an Environmental Consultancy company, we are increasingly encountering businesses with difficulties because they have not obtained a licence for discharging their Trade Effluent to the sewer. This can result in prosecution and negative publicity, which can be costly for the business.

What is a Discharge Licence?

A Discharge Licence, also known as a discharge permit or effluent discharge permit, is an official authorisation issued by a regulatory authority or government agency that allows an entity or facility to release or discharge certain substances or effluents into the environment, typically into air or water bodies, under specified conditions and within established legal limits.

The specific requirements and conditions of a Discharge Licence vary depending on the jurisdiction, the type of discharge, and the potential environmental impact. Violating the terms of a discharge permit can lead to legal consequences and penalties. Compliance with these permits is essential for protecting the environment and public health while allowing certain industrial activities to continue. 


Do I need a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Discharge Licence for my business?

Obtaining a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence is a crucial requirement for businesses of all sizes and types, ranging from quaint public houses to expansive industrial facilities. It’s imperative to recognise that the discharge of trade effluent into a sewer system is typically subject to stringent regulatory oversight, especially in jurisdictions like Ireland. These regulations are in place not only to safeguard public health but also to uphold the integrity of sewage treatment systems and prevent the contamination of natural water bodies. Consequently, if your business generates trade effluent and intends to release it into a sewer, you are typically legally obligated to apply for and secure a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence.

Beyond mere legal compliance, this licensing process holds broader environmental implications. Trade effluent can encompass various substances, including chemicals and pollutants, which have the potential to cause ecological harm and disrupt the sewage treatment process. Acquiring a Discharge Licence ensures that your business adheres to specific discharge limits, effectively curbing the introduction of detrimental contaminants into the sewer system. Moreover, this regulatory step helps preserve the functionality and efficiency of the sewage network while demonstrating your business’s commitment to environmental responsibility and accountability. It also entails ongoing monitoring and reporting obligations to guarantee continued compliance with the stipulated discharge limits, all contributing to the sustainable and responsible management of trade effluent.


Who needs a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence?

The following establishments or premises should have a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence:

  • Premises where manufacturing or processing of chemicals or metal finishing occurs
  • Premises where food and drink manufacturing occurs
  • 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, amenities and heritage centres
  • Service stations and/or car wash
  • Marts

Please note: The above list is not exhaustive, and it’s a good idea to confirm if you are required to have a Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence for your business. 



Relevant Resources on Discharge Licences


How Can We Help?

If you are concerned about your obligations in relation to your Trade Effluent, please get in touch with us to discuss. We can manage the application process to ensure you meet your legal obligations.

For more information about how we can assist you with your requirements, please contact:
👨‍🔬 Michael Murphy 

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