Tipperary: Section 4 Trade Effluent Discharge Licences

Irish Water (Section 16) Licensing of Trade Effluent into Sewers in Areas without Treatment Plants

Map of Irish towns and villages releasing raw sewage daily.

Note: this list is not comprehensive as the Irish Water database of Section 16 licenses does not include all agglomerations (catchment area for a waste water treatment plant), but it does highlight a question: how can Irish Water license trade effluent discharges to sewers where there is no treatment plant

Mapping Drinking Water against Section 4s (Trade Effluent Discharge Licenses)

Starting to see what maps might be useful.. thanks to my new GIS buddy

It is difficult to get water abstraction points specifically.

EPA redact a lot of data in the Water Abstraction Register, including all Irish Water abstraction points but we think workarounds are possible

A lot of the data is in here, but is not exportable in ways that make analysis easy: https://gis.epa.ie/GetData/Download

EPA are currently working to improve their mapping, and in fairness as one of the more open government agencies for data

Obviously having a local authority license a trade effluent discharge near a drinking water abstraction point is a bad thing ?

East coast trade effluent discharge licenses need another look, as do Galway, Cork Harbour and some of the border counties

Provision of Economic Consultancy Support for a new Irish Water Trade Effluent Charging Policy

Developing enduring TE charging proposals was originally within the scope of the Non-Domestic Tariff Framework. However, Irish Water informed the CRU that it did not have sufficient data on TE discharges to propose an enduring charging policy at that time. Therefore, the CRU decided that Irish Water maintain the existing Local Authority TE charging arrangements for an interim period as Irish Water had insufficient cost evidence at the time to propose an enduring policy for charging TE discharges.

Irish Water still does not have sufficient data to generate enduring TE charging proposals. However, the CRU is of the view that it would not be beneficial to wait for greater cost and discharge data to be available to Irish Water as this may take a number of years for Irish Water to gather. The CRU therefore is considering a number of options to develop interim TE charging arrangements that could be implemented in the near term, that is, until Irish Water has greater cost and discharge data (and the enduring arrangements can be implemented).

The high-level approach to the project is as follows:

1) Consult on the future (enduring) and interim TE arrangements;
2) Decide on interim TE arrangements and specific interim TE charge levels;
3) Assessment of how well the enduring and interim TE charging arrangements meet the tariff principles.

Water Framework Directive Section 4 Discharges

This is a points dataset of licensed and licensable Section 4 discharges to water to support the characterisation of waterbodies for the 2nd Cycle of River Basin Management Planning. These sites were collected by RPS, upon appointment by EPA in October 2015. This dataset takes in account, among other datasets, the Section 4s dataset developed in 2005 as Point Source Pressures for the Article 5 Characterisation and Risk Assessment Report for the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC; (European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations 2003 (SI 722 of 2003)).


Note: The above dataset may be a shortcut summary for all local authority section 4 trade effluent licences, as many local authorities do not publish list of section 4, or publish the terms/conditions in those licences. The data was aggregated in 2015, but very few, if any new section 4 licences have been granted in recent years.

Irish Water Trade Effluent Licence Register

Trade effluent is any liquid waste that is discharged from business premises to public sewers

Trade effluent discharges to sewer are regulated by Irish Water or the EPA. You must have a trade effluent licence or an EPA licence to discharge trade effluent to the sewer. The type and scale of activity will determine the regulatory authority responsible for licensing the trade effluent discharged to the sewer.

A trade effluent licence sets out conditions that businesses must comply with. These may include:

  • The nature, composition and volume of the trade effluent discharge
  • The method of treatment, the location of discharge and the periods during which discharge may be made
  • The taking and analysis of trade effluent samples and the trade effluent records that must be kept
  • Applicable charges for discharging trade effluent, as approved by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU)

Irish Water maintain a database of all trade effluent licences

Note 1.

Irish Water will provide an up to date Register on request, email dischargetosewer@water.ie

Note 2.

A trade effluent discharge to sewer licence is a legal requirement if a business discharges trade effluent to a public sewer. If a business is discharging to surface water infrastructure, they need to contact the relevant Local Authority for a licence.

Note 3.

Unclear what happens with licensing in sewer systems without a treatment plant, eg Arklow, Wicklow