What is trade wastewater?
Trade wastewater (or trade waste) is any water contaminated as a result of your business activity. It does not include wastewater that goes into the sewer from toilets, kitchens, bathrooms or laundries in homes. Trade wastewater is not necessarily toxic or harmful but can be a problem if it is put directly into the sewer without first having problem substances removed.
Trade wastewater from autodismantlers is usually generated as a result of cleaning processes and may contain pollutants such as sediments, oils, detergents and other chemicals. This wastewater must not enter the stormwater system or waterways.
How do you deal with wastewater?
There are several options for dealing with the wastewater generated by your business:
- contact your local water authority to arrange a discharge to sewer
- direct the wastewater to a storage tank and arrange for a liquid waste removal contractor to remove it from site
- invest in water treatment equipment and storage tanks and reuse the wastewater for reuse within your business.
Discharging trade wastewater to the sewer - legal requirements
You must have a written agreement or permit from your local water authority to discharge wastewater to the sewer.
The two main water authorities in NSW are Sydney Water in the Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra areas, and Hunter Water Corporation in the Newcastle region. Outside these areas local councils are the local water authority and manage trade wastewater.
Your agreement or permit will set out the discharge conditions for trade waste. Most water authorities require businesses to treat trade waste before discharging it to the sewer. As a guide, the minimum treatment often required for discharge to the sewer is an oil water separator or a coalescing (corrugated) plate interceptor (CPI). A CPI directs wastewater to a tank in which the solids and liquids separate. If they meet the requirements set by the local water authority the liquids can be discharged to the sewer. Pre-treatment devices should be located under cover and within a bunded area to ensure that leaks do not cause water pollution.
Sydney Water and the Hunter Water Corporation have trade waste officers who can help you fill out an application form for your trade wastewater permit.
It is the responsibility of the business owner to maintain the pre-treatment system in proper operating condition and ensure that regular servicing requirements are carried out.
- Sydney Water, phone: 13 20 92. Ask for a copy of the guidelines on Managing Trade Wastewater - Motor Vehicle Industry
- Hunter Water, phone: (02) 4979 9589
- Your local council if you are outside these areas
- Yellow Pages - look under 'Sewage & Wastewater Treatment', 'Effluent Treatment Equipment & Services' and 'Environmental & Pollution Control Consultants'
Page last updated: 27 February 2011