A crash course in trade effluent

What is trade effluent?

Trade effluent discharging from a factory

In simple terms, trade effluent is any liquid waste that’s discharged to sewer from a process that forms part of a business, trade or industry. 


Trade effluent can come from processes used to wash or cool plant, machinery, vehicles and floors.


Any size of business can produce trade effluent if it uses water in it's processes.

How is trade effluent charged for?

The Mogden Sewage Treatment Works in London where the Mogden formula for charging gets its name.

The principle behind charging is that the more you need to discharge and the more polluting that effluent is then the more you pay. This is called the "polluter pays principle". The less you discharge the better for the environment and the less you pay.


Across the UK there are various types of formula used to calculate this but they are all based on the Mogden Formula.


Charges take into account the volume of the discharge, the amount of solid material in it, and the strength (usually the Chemical Oxygen Demand) of the effluent.

Who regulates trade effluent?

Compliance stamp

In the UK the regulation of trade effluent discharges is carried out by the water wholesalers. In England and Wales these are the local water companies, and in Scotland it is Scottish Water.


These organisations have specialist trade effluent teams that manage all the trade effluent discharges in their area. This can involve the issuing of permits, known as trade effluent consents, and samples being taken of the discharge to sewer from the site.


The consent lists all the conditions that the discharge must comply with.

What if I don't comply?

Judges gavel

If the discharge does not comply with the limits contained in the consent then there is a risk of prosecution. 


There is usually a process to be followed though so as long as you take steps to correct the problems in time then you should be OK.


For advice please contact me.

On the right track?

2 sets of train tracks going different ways

The right track is one that balances compliance and costs. You need to be compliant but at the same time you need to understand how to manage costs.


To understand how this can be done please contact me.

What next?

Wooden sign in mountains saying next step

If this is an area that you need to control, I can help. Trade Effluent Management Services is here to ensure you have access to an industry professional who can take on all the necessary work to save you spending time and resources on it.


Just drop me a line or give me a call.