Monitoring Environmental Performance
Level 5
Unit 4
Discharges to Water Monitoring

Controls on trade effluent: discharge consents

A company that wishes to release effluent directly to controlled waters or indirectly- by surface water drains needs to have a consent from the EA. This will detail the amount and the type of discharges that are deemed acceptable. The consent parameter (eg pH and Chemical oxygen demand (COD) are ascertained through studying their likely effect upon controlled water quality that will receive the discharge.

The conditions attached to the consent by the EA will generally be (schedule 10: Water Resources Act 1991)

  • that the EA must be notified of the amount and the nature of the discharge
  • that the appropriate records are maintained
  • meters are provided to measure rate of discharge and that apparatus are provided to give the nature of the discharge
  • that the company will provide discharge sampling facilities
  • that the company are and has taken sufficient measures to minimise the polluting component of the discharge
  • that information is gathered regarding the source, the composition , the temperature, the volume and the rate of discharges and the periods during which discharges may be made.
  • the company needs to specify the location of the discharge and the design and construction of outlets.

Discharges to sewers

A consent system also exists for effluent discharges to sewers. It is the sewerage undertakers (the water companies) that are charged with the regulation of this. Parameters are set to protect the sewers and the tretament works. Parameters and limits are given to the company from the sewerage undertaker using a discharge consent.