We have the right to enter a customers site at any reasonable time to take a sample of their trade effluent.

We routinely inspect and sample trade effluent discharges in order to:

  • Check compliance against consent conditions
  • Determine the volume and strength of the effluent for charging purposes
  • Assess the volumes and strengths of trade effluent being discharged to see what effect they have on our assets.


Sample results

When customer sample results are available, you will be sent an email to let you know that you can access the retailer portal here to view the information. 


Sample types

The method of sampling will depend on the volume and quality of the trade effluent being discharged:

  • Spot samples are taken during regular visits to the premises
  • Due to the nature and/or volume of the discharge it may be a requirement of the consent that a composite sample is provided. In this case it's the responsibility of the owner or occupier to maintain suitable equipment to provide a representative sample for us
  • Formal samples are taken when it's suspected that the conditions of a consent have been breached and legal action is being considered. The cost of any formal sampling will be recovered from the discharger directly as a non-standard charge.


Sampling point

As part of a consent, your customer is required to provide a sampling point so that samples of trade effluent can be given for control and charging purposes:

  • The sampling point and access arrangements must be approved by us
  • A sampling point may be a manhole, inspection chamber or any other device designed for that purpose
  • Only trade effluent should pass through the sampling point. The flow should consist of all trade effluent being discharged from the site.


Positioning of and access to sampling points

The sampling point must be easily accessed and should not normally be in an area with limited access.

The inspection point must allow samples to be taken without anyone entering a manhole chamber and without exposing them to any other hazard.

There should be no temporary or permanent obstructions to the inspection point.

This includes obstruction caused by equipment, materials, deliveries or vehicles and should not be locked.

Our staff should have access at all reasonable times. This is usually within working hours, but in certain circumstances it may be necessary to sample at other times.



Self-monitoring requirements may be incorporated into trade effluent consents.

Customers are encouraged to set up self-monitoring programmes as they assist with the early detection of problems and are good practice.


Flow measurement

Consent conditions may require flow measuring equipment to be provided. The cost of installing and maintaining such equipment will be the responsibility of the discharger.

Assessment of flow by other means such as water meters or process meters may also be considered in some circumstances.

Any flow measuring equipment and installation should be to MCERTS standard.


Health and safety

Both the occupier of the premises and Southern Water have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ensure that any visiting Southern Water employees can safely carry out their duties.

Our employees shall act with due care for their own health and safety and observe any site specific health and safety arrangements.

Close agent lightbox  Close box