If you are planning to discharge anything other than domestic waste into a drain that’s connected to a public sewer, it is likely that you’ll need to obtain consent from us before you commence any discharge. Please contact your appointed Retailer to discuss this.

You should be aware that from 1st April, the retail water  market for business customers is changing. It will work in a similar way to other utilities in which you will have the freedom to choose a retailer for services such as billing and customer service. For more information on the changes and advice on how to choose a retailer go to Open Water website.

Please note you do not have permission to discharge trade effluent prior to the issue of your legal document.   

Complete an application form

All Trade Effluent applications or requests to change existing Trade Effluent discharges must be made using a standard document, depending on your circumstances this will either be a G/02 or G/03 form. Please see below the difference between the two application forms along with links to our application forms and guidance notes.  

Please note that you will need to speak to your appointed Retailer if you have any questions about the application form, you will also need to submit the completed form through your Retailer. Please note that any forms without Retailer details will be returned.

In addition to the completed G/02 or G/03 form, we also require a comprehensive plan of your site drainage system, showing the route taken by the trade effluent discharge to the public sewer.

Please see our current scheme of charges (PDF) for the charges that will be levied.

Once we’ve received your completed form, we must either grant or refuse consent within two months.    

In some circumstances, it may be impossible to meet your requirements, and consent may be refused. We’ll inform you of the exact reasons for refusal, and advise you on how to proceed. If you think that the conditions imposed are too stringent or believe that we took too long to respond, we recommend that you contact your local Commercial Waste Advisor.

If we’re unable to resolve any issues, you have the right to appeal to the Director General of Water Services at the Office of Water Services, City Centre Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham B5 4UA.

The consent to discharge trade effluent will be issued in the name of your business, at the address of your trade premises, and only permits discharge of the effluent specified.

All of the conditions and limits stated in your consent to discharge are legally binding. Failure to comply with these conditions and limits can result in prosecution. Please make sure that you read your consent document carefully, and store it in a safe place.

The consent contains various limits and covers sampling methods, measurement of effluent and charging methodology. It may also be necessary for you to install pre-treatment prior to discharging the effluent to sewer, or put in place other risk control measures to mitigate any adverse effects in order to meet the conditions of your consent.


Trade effluent discharges containing any substance not previously declared on the Trade Effluent Notice are illegal, and therefore liable to prosecution. You must therefore give us notice, in writing, of the following:

  • Any proposed changes to the nature or constituents of the trade effluent
  • Any proposed changes to the rate of discharge or daily volume discharged
  • A proposed change of ownership of the trade premises
  • Any proposed change to the name of the company or partnership


You must also notify us if you cease trading, or no longer wish to discharge trade effluent, so that we can adjust your bills accordingly. You’ll also be required to return your consent document.


Consents are not transferrable from one company to another. If you sell the company, merge with another, or in any way change the legal status of the company, the new company must apply for a new consent.


Failure to hold a consent in the correct company name renders the trade effluent discharge illegal and means that your company could be prosecuted. Discharge would not be illegal if a Certificate of Incorporation was immediately sent to the Trade Effluent Support Team at West Service Road, Raynesway, Derby DE21 7BE.

Trade Effluent Meters & Reads

Trade Effluent consents normally requires equipment to be installed that will measure the flow. If you're discharging this effluent into the sewer system, you are responsible for installing and maintaining that equipment.

You'll need to complete the private meter form if you're installing a new meter, replacing an existing meter or think you might have a faulty private meter.

Likewise the meter reading data you supply allows us to regularly review consents and make sure that public health, our operations and the environment are protected – to upload or provide a reading please complete the reading form.  

Public register

We are required to keep a register of trade effluent consents and associated documents, to which the public must be given access. The register is currently held at our offices in Raynesway, Derby DE21 7BE.