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Explanatory Memorandum to Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

Chapter III – Trade Effluent

81.This Chapter sets out the duties and responsibilities of the undertaker, the Department, the DOE and the customer in respect of dealing with trade effluent. Such clearly defined duties and responsibilities are required in order to satisfy the increasing demands set down by new environmental legislation. Trade effluent is defined at Article 199 as liquid produced in the course of any trade or industry (including medical, scientific and agricultural). It does not include domestic sewage. Article 198 gives the Department power, by order, to prescribe that a substance is or is not to be treated as trade effluent for the purposes of the legislation.

82.Any occupier of trade premises wishing to discharge trade effluent, into the undertaker’s sewers must apply for consent so to do (Articles 175 and 176). It is an offence to discharge trade effluent without first obtaining proper consent. The undertaker may not agree to consent to the discharge or may agree unconditionally or subject to such conditions as the undertaker sets. Conditions may be varied with the agreement of the consent holder or, after 2 years, at the behest of the undertaker. If the undertaker varies the consent within 2 years it will, in certain circumstances, be liable to pay compensation to the consent holder. Guidance on any such conditions and the process for varying them is set out in Articles 179, 182 and 183. The transfer of trade effluent discharge consents, by the holder to a successor proposing to carry on the same discharge, is facilitated by Article 177.

83.Any owner or occupier of trade premises wishing to discharge trade effluent other than directly into the undertaker’s sewers e.g. disposal by tanker, may apply to enter into an agreement with the undertaker so to do.

84.Articles 180,181 and 184 provide for appeals to the Authority in respect of trade effluent discharge consents and the relevant conditions attached.

85.Articles 178 and 188 require the sewerage undertaker to refer applications and proposed agreements for the discharge of special category effluent to DOE, and no consent may be given to its discharge until DOE has made a determination; failure to make references to DOE constitutes an offence. Article 181 sets out the appeals process. Articles 185 and 189 provide the process by, and the timeframes within which, DOE may review consents and agreements relating to special category effluent. Article 190 sets out DOE’s powers, and the procedure to be applied, in relation to its receiving representations or objections, and making determinations, on references and reviews. Article 192 sets out the circumstances in which DOE may or may not be liable to pay compensation as a result of a notice served by DOE under Article 190. Article 194 provides DOE with a power to require information for the purpose of its functions in relation to special category effluent; failure to comply with a notice served by DOE constitutes an offence. Article 197 defines special category effluent.

86.Charges for services provided under this Chapter of the Order will be set out in the undertaker’s charges scheme (see Part VII below).

87.This Chapter of the Order sets out the formal processes for administration of applications, transfers, variations, reviews and appeals in relation to trade effluent and special category effluent discharge consents.

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