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  • The consent

    The consent, issued to the owner or occupier of the business premises, will contain legally enforceable conditions that control the volume and quality of the trade effluent discharged to the sewer.

    Depending on what is appropriate, the consent could include any of the following:

    • limits on daily volume and rate of discharge
    • limits on the concentration of solids and organic matter, and on dangerous or harmful constituents
    • requirements for access to sampling for ourselves and for measuring and monitoring equipment to be provided by the business.

    You may need to provide and maintain some form of on-site treatment to ensure your business can comply with the consent conditions.

    We routinely inspect and sample higher risk trade effluent discharges to check compliance with consent conditions and to determine the effluent strength, which may be used by your retailer for charging purposes.If the discharge does not meet the consent requirements, we will always try to work with the consent holder to find ways to improve the situation.

    However, if this fails we may take enforcement action – a breach of a consent condition is a criminal offence and may result in prosecution.See our trade effluent enforcement statement for more information.

    Special category effluent

    If the discharge is of a special category nature, including discharges of low level radioactive wastewater, we will need to refer the details to the Environment Agency and await its decision before issuing consent.

    Should this be needed, the two-month decision period is suspended from the date on which the referral is made and starts again from the date on which the referral is determined.

    If you are unhappy with a refusal to grant consent or the imposition of conditions attached to a consent, you should speak to us and your retailer in the first instance.If any problem cannot be resolved between us, you can appeal to the Director General of Water Services, Ofwat, Centre City Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham B5 4UA.

    When a consent is issued it will be sent to your company secretary at the registered office, or in the case of a partnership or private business to the named partners/owners at the business or private address.

    We are required by law to keep a register of trade effluent consents and associated documents to which the public must be given access. The register is held at Wessex Water, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7WW.

    Varying the conditions of a consent

    We may vary the conditions of any consent by means of a Notice of Direction.

    New conditions imposed by the direction are subject to appeal provisions to the director general of water services.

    Appeals must be made within two months from the date the direction is issued or at any time later with the permission of the director general of water services.

    If you wish to seek a variation in your consent you should contact us and your retailer.

    You are responsible for telling us about any changes in conditions or processes which are likely to alter the nature and composition of the effluent. The consent can usually be changed as required by issuing a notice of direction.

    If a discharge stops, you should inform us in advance. The consent will become void in the event of a permanent cessation of the discharge.

    If your business moves, you will need to apply for a new consent to cover your new premises. The old consent will become void. This is because a consent is applicable to owner/occupier of the premises.

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