Liquid Trade Waste

Sewerage systems are designed to transport and treat domestic sewage.  Council may accept liquid trade waste into its sewerage system as a service to business and industry.

Sound trade waste regulation is essential for:

  • Protecting the sewerage infrastructure, e.g. Sewer mains, pumping stations and sewage treatment facilities.
  • Protecting our environment – some substances, such as metals or pesticides, may pass through the treatment facility unchanged and accumulate in the environment thereby contaminating our food chain.  Other substances may adversely affect the biological processes and the quality of the treated effluent and biosolids.
  • Protecting public and worker health and safety – the public and people working in and around the sewerage system can be harmed if toxic substances are discharged to the sewer.

Liquid trade waste is any discharge to a sewerage system other than domestic waste from a hand wash basin, shower, bath or toilet.  Any commercial or industrial premises discharging liquid trade waste to Council's sewer system is required to seek approval to do so under the Local Government Act 1993.

Liquid trade waste includes, but is not limited to, liquid waste from:

  • Industrial premises.
  • Business/commercial premises (e.g. beautician, florist, hairdresser, hotel, motel, restaurant, butcher, service station, supermarket, dentist).
  • Community/public premises (including craft club, school, college, university, hospital and nursing home).
  • Trade activities (e.g. mobile carpet cleaner, mechanical repairers).
  • Any commercial activities carried out at a residential premises.
  • Saleyards, racecourses and stables and kennels that are not associated with domestic households; and
  • Septic tank waste, waste from marine pump-out facilities and established sites for the discharge of pan content from mobile homes/caravans to the sewerage system.

Liquid trade waste excludes:

  • Toilet, hand wash basin (personal hygiene only), shower and bath wastes derived from all the premises and activities mentioned above.
  • Wastewater from residential toilets, kitchens, bathrooms or laundries (i.e. domestic sewage).
  • Common use (non-commercial) kitchen and laundry facilities in caravan parks.
  • Residential pool backwash.

Impacts of poor liquid trade waste regulation

If Council fails to properly regulate commercial and industrial trade waste dischargers, it can result in:

  • Blockage of the sewerage system and overflows of untreated sewage to the environment.  This is potentially dangerous to public health and is often caused by excess build-up of grease, oil and solids.
  • Odour problems at manholes and pump stations.
  • Corrosion of the sewerage infrastructure by strong wastes which is ultimately a cost borne by the community.
  • Disruption of the treatment process at the sewerage treatment plant.

Responsibilities of liquid trade waste dischargers

  • Apply and obtain approval to discharge liquid trade waste to sewer prior to operating.
  • Pre-treating waste to a level acceptable for discharge to sewer. To assist applicants, Council can provide information on the type of pre-treatment needed for various trade waste generating activities.
  • Comply with conditions on their trade waste approval.

What is Council’s responsibility when it comes to trade waste?

Council is responsible for providing and managing water supply, sewerage and liquid trade waste services for its community.

An important part of those responsibilities is the assessment, approval and monitoring of liquid trade waste discharges to its sewerage system in accordance with Councils Trade Waste Policy.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Achieving full cost recovery for water supply, sewerage and trade waste services.
  • Ensuring that any trade waste discharges do not adversely affect the environment, the health and safety of the public and Council’s employees.
  • Ensuring that potential beneficial reuse of effluent and biosolids produced at the sewage treatment works is not compromised.
  • Sewerage system EPA licence requirements are met.
  • Water conservation and waste minimisation are strongly encouraged.
  • Additional maintenance costs for Council’s assets arising from the discharge of trade waste to sewer are minimised.

Important - prosecution and penalties apply

Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 requires that all trade waste dischargers to a council sewerage system must have an approval from Council. This applies to both new and existing trade waste dischargers. A discharger who fails to obtain Council’s approval or fails to obtain Council’s approval or fails to comply with the conditions of approval may be prosecuted under section 120 (1) of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. In addition, Council may issue a penalty notice under section 222 of that Act.

How to Apply

Click on the above link for further information about how to apply and download the Application Form. Alternatively, complete your application using the online form.
Wash Bays
Federation Council has identified that there are a number of wash bays in its local government area that are non-compliant with trade waste regulations.  Council's Environmental Health Officer (EHO) has attended all businesses with a wash bay and provided businesses with preliminary advice and information. 
If you have a wash bay that is non-compliant, you will be required to make the necessary changes and install the appropriate pre-treatment equipment to bring it up to standards.  All businesses must comply by 1 July 2019.
To assist you in understanding the regulations for wash bays, refer to the Wash Bay Guidelines(PDF, 151KB) Council has developed.


Grease Traps

Cooking oil, grease and food solids can cause sewerage blockages and overflows, overload wastewater treatment plants and cause pollution in our rivers and waterways. If installed and maintained correctly, grease traps remove the bulk of oil and grease from the drainage system preventing any problems with Council's sewerage infrastructure. A grease trap is required for any business that cooks or serves hot food. Council has specific requirements for the design and installation of grease traps. It is important to apply for a trade waste approval prior to installation. Following application, Council will review your proposed drainage plans, grease trap design and installation requirements to ensure it will meet the required standards.To assist you and your plumber with design and installation of your grease traps, refer to the Grease Trap Installation Operation & Maintenance Fact Sheet Council has developed. Download the Fact Sheet from the bottom of this page.
For more information, contact Council's Environmental Health Officer on P: (02) 6033 8999.