Trade Effluent in Scotland

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Scottish Water

All regulation of trade effluent discharges to the public sewerage system in Scotland is carried out by Scottish Water. They issue, manage and regulate all the trade effluent consents in Scotland which involves taking samples of the discharges from consented sites.


If the discharge doesn't comply with the limits laid down in the conditions in the consent then Scottish Water may begin enforcement action. If they put you on a Trader Action Plan (TAP) or take Formal Samples (ones admissible as evidence in court) then you may want to seek some experienced support. But don't panic. I can help get this back on track with the right steps.

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Trade Effluent Charging

Uniquely for the UK, Scotland uses a Split Mogden Calculation. In addition to the normal Mogden charges which calculate a charge based on the volume and strength of the effluent discharged (the Operating Charge), in Scotland there is also a charge for Availability. Availability Charges are essentially the cost of reserving the right to discharge what you have been given in the trade effluent consent. The Operating Charge then calculates the cost of what you actually discharged in the billing period.


It is important to make sure that your consent is fit for what you need it for. Too big and you'll be paying more than you need to. Too small and you are not complying with your consent.


It is also important to take a proper look at the sample analysis from the samples Scottish Water takes. The results from these samples end up in the Operating Charge. A rogue result or temporary on-site issue could massively effect what you pay. Having the right expertise on-call could save £1000s. And has on many occasions for my customers.

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Retail Competition

In 2008 the water services market in Scotland was opened up so that business customers could choose which company they wanted to provide water services to their business. The water and sewer network and assets are still operated by Scottish Water but you can choose which company bills you for these services. The chosen retailer then carries out all the customer service aspects of the relationship and sets the tariffs your bills are calculated from. So it's worth picking one that can provide the services you need. If you need trade effluent expertise please call me.


The Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) sets the default retail tariffs and then retailers (last time I counted there were 30 licensed in Scotland) enter into agreement with individual customers which should include a discount from the default tariff or a mark up on the wholesale tariff (also set by WICS).


As you'd imagine there is a vast spectrum of different offerings out there from the low touch/online style to fully account managed services. Trade Effluent customers usually require some help from time to time so an online service, though cheaper, may not suit. However if you engage expertise from the industry that is independent of any retailer you could potentially enjoy the best of both. Let me help guide you to the right deal.