Covid-19 Trade effluent updates

Disposal of waste beer and/or cider from your public house, club, restaurant or other similar establishments.


On the 23rd March the government told certain types of businesses to close to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. This included public houses, clubs, restaurants and similar establishments. This has resulted in a requirement to dispose of the contents of kegs/casks that have now gone out of date. Normally these would be returned to source, but our understanding is that this is not possible at the present time due to the government restrictions and social distancing measures.

The disposal of waste beer/cider to sewer is not usually permitted. However given the unprecedented nature of the current situation we may be prepared to allow the discharge of such liquids into our network under certain conditions.

From the 4th of July pubs and restaurants were allowed to open in England again. We will continue to accept requests for these discharges directly up until 31st July 2020 to help businesses with their out of date stock where alternative methods are not possible. However this measure has put a lot of pressure on our services and assets and has been put in place in unprecedented circumstances. With the easing of restrictions we believe it is appropriate and necessary to return to market processes from the 1st of August 2020.


Our approach (until 31st July 2020)

Customers wishing to discharge waste beer or cider to our network from a public house, club, restaurant or other similar establishment are advised to contact us first in all instances. They can contact us directly via the mailbox.

We encourage bulk requests from pub companies over individual requests per pub where possible.

The following information must be provided:

  • Site name and address
  • Contact number
  • Total volume
  • Nature of effluent (beer and/or cider)
  • Proposed discharge start and end date  

If applying for multiple sites please provide this information in table format (i.e. excel). 

This will allow us to assess the potential impact of the discharge. If acceptable we will provide written confirmation of the conditions that must be met to discharge the effluent requested safely.


Our approach (from 1st August 2020)

Customers wishing to discharge waste beer or cider to our network from a public house, club, restaurant or other similar establishment must apply for a temporary trade effluent consent via their retailer.

Please speak to your retailer for details of charges. 

Please note: It is an offence under Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991 to discharge anything to a sewer which will adversely impact the sewerage network or treatment processes.

Beer and cider are high in chemical oxygen demand which is a measure of the potential oxygen consumption of the effluent, this can have a significant impact on our treatment works and the environment.


Trade Effluent Sampling & Compliance

Trade effluent sampling for compliance is still a critical process for our business to ensure our assets and the environment are not negatively impacted. It is just as crucial now as before to ensure trade effluent discharges are compliant to their Trade Effluent consent conditions.

We will be continuing to carry out compliance sampling visits where possible. We understand that in these unprecedented times there may be additional safety measures in place at trade effluent sites; we want to respect these and work with traders to get a representative sample of trade effluent safely.

Please note: We will be following the government guidelines on social distancing and will wear masks where this may not be possible. This is not only for your safety and ours but for our other customers, our families and communities.


Changes to your trade effluent processes or water usage

We understand that with the government announcements on the 23rd March 2020 many businesses have been impacted and that this might have an effect on trade effluent production.

If you have an enquiry about your trade effluent bill please contact your Retailer. If you need to report a change in site process or status as per your trade effluent consent please contact your Retailer and the trade effluent mailbox:

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