Liquid Trade Waste

Singleton Council is responsible for the approval, inspection and monitoring of liquid trade waste dischargers to the sewerage system. Trade wastewater is any liquid waste and any substance contained within it discharged to the sewerage system from a business premise other than normal domestic sewage. Only trade wastewater which complies with specific guidelines may be discharged into the sewerage system.

Council regulates liquid trade waste discharges in order to:

  • Protect the health and safety of the public and our staff,
  • Protect wastewater system infrastructure and assets,
  • Protect sewerage treatment processes,
  • Reduce maintenance costs,
  • Ensure regulatory and license compliance to protect the environment,
  • Reduce significant odour complaints, and
  • Protect effluent and biosolid quality for facilitation of recycling.

All companies and businesses operating in Council’s sewer supply area and discharging trade wastewater into the sewerage system need to be aware of our trade waste requirements.  This includes liquid waste from:

  • Industrial premises,
  • Businesses and commercial premises such as; beauticians, florists, hairdressers, hotels, motels, restaurants, takeaway stores, butchers, service stations, mechanical workshops, supermarkets, dentists,
  • Community and public premises such as; craft clubs, pools, schools, colleges, education facilities, hospitals and nursing homes,
  • Trade activities such as; mobile carpet cleaner,
  • Saleyards (livestock markets), racecourses and from stables and kennels that are not associated with domestic households,
  • Any of the above activities carried out at residential premises, and
  • Septic tank waste, waste from established sites for the discharge of chemical toilet or pan contents from mobile homes, caravans or portaloos to the sewerage system.

The requirements and procedures for liquid trade waste management are outlined in the POL/26005 Discharge of Liquid Trade Waste to Sewerage System Policy. If your business discharges liquid waste other than domestic sewage, you must submit a Liquid Trade Waste Application to Singleton Council, as required under Section 68 of the Local Government Act. This applies to both new and existing trade waste dischargers.

A discharger who fails to obtain approval or fails to comply with the conditions of approval may be prosecuted under section 626 & 627 of the Local Government Act 1993 and section 120(1) of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Trade Waste Approvals

Our Liquid Trade Waste Officer will provide assistance and information to help with applications for liquid trade waste approvals.  Applying for an approval or consent may involve submitting the following to us:

  • Liquid Trade Waste Application form
  • site plans showing buildings and infrastructure
  • plan of the proposed or existing treatment system prior to waste entering the sewerage system
  • a technical specification of the manufacturing trade wastewater system, and
  • a list of hazardous chemicals.

Each liquid trade waste discharge agreement application is risk assessed, using a number of parameters such as activity type, quality of discharge, volume of discharge, pre-treatment facility and Sewer Treatment Works, this may include site inspections. This information is used to determine which trade wastewater category is applicable.  Liquid trade waste categories are defined in the Discharge of Liquid Trade Waste to Sewerage System Policy. 

Property owners are then issued with a liquid trade waste discharge approval.

Liquid Trade Waste Fees and Charges

The Local Government Act 1993specifies that liquid trade waste fees and charges are to be levied, which are dependent on liquid trade waste discharger category.

Trade wastewater fees consist of:

  • application fees for new trade waste customers
  • an annual agreement fee
  • variable trade wastewater discharge fees based on the strength and volume of trade wastewater being discharged (where applicable)
  • additional inspection fees (where applicable)
  • excess mass charges (where applicable)
  • food waste disposal charge (where applicable)
  • non-compliance liquid trade waste usage and excess mass and pH charges, and
  • non-compliance penalty infringement

Tips for managing Liquid Trade Waste

The correct management of liquid trade waste and proper maintenance will result in a compliant discharge and a cleaner environment. The following housekeeping tips may be helpful in training staff and achieving a better quality liquid trade waste discharge:

  • Never put cooking oil or fats down the drain. This will cause your grease arrestor pump outs to rise significantly which in turn will cost you more. It can also clog pipes, overflow sewers and cause odours.
  • Use trays to catch fat, grease and oil.
  • Always store used cooking oil and fat in secure containers in a bunded area, and remove and dispose of these in an approved manner by a licenced contractor.
  • Maintain access to grease arrestors and pre-treatment equipment at all times.
  • Do not store oil drums and equipment on top of grease arrestors.
  • Use minimal grease and oil for cooking.
  • Scrape utensils and dishes in the garbage bin or compost before washing.
  • Install screens and basket arrestors in sinks and floor drains.
  • Use a broom and mop for washing floors, not the hose.
  • Use high pressure hoses or hoses with trigger nozzles for washing vehicles and equipment.
  • Use water sparingly, efficiently, recycle whenever possible.
  • Use water efficient appliances.
  • Don’t leave taps or hoses running. Generally, a fully open tap will supply approximately 0.3 Litres/second (or 1000 Litres/hour)

Compliance Audits

The terms and conditions in a liquid trade waste agreement have been specified with consideration given to the protection of the sewer and treatment infrastructure, as well as addressing environmental concerns. It is extremely important that customers are aware of their agreement responsibilities and ensure that there are adequate systems in place to guarantee compliance with the conditions for discharge.

There are risks associated with accepting trade wastewater into our sewerage system. One component of our risk management strategy includes a risk based customer audit program with the following activities:

  • Random site visitations to take samples to check the quality of the wastewater discharge.
  • Random site visitations by our Liquid Trade Waste Officer to ensure that treatment processes and equipment are properly maintained and operating correctly and that the site is in general compliance with the terms and conditions of the trade wastewater agreement.
  • Council’s Liquid Trade Waste Officer can enter customers’ premises at any time to check liquid trade waste discharge and agreement conditions.

Additional Information

Information relating to Council’s Liquid Trade Waste fees and charges, approval and inspection requirements and policies can be found in the following related documents: