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What can I do with liquid (trade) waste?

If you are not in a reticulated sewerage area, most household waste is disposed of via the sewerage or waste water systems, or via septic tanks. However, grease, oils, solvents and chemicals (basically anything except human sewage) should not be put directly into such systems.

If you operate a business that produces quantities of such materials and they are discharged directly into the sewer, they can:

  • block the sewer
  • cause corrosion of pipes
  • damage the sewerage treatment processes
  • cause health risks to the sewer workers
  • cause damage to the environment.

Such waste is often called trade waste and depending on the type of waste in question, councils require such waste to be managed through grease traps, holding tanks or oil and silt traps. Often councils require an industry operator to enter into a Trade Waste Agreement or obtain a Permit that details what the business is allowed to discharge to the sewer and under what terms and conditions. Also, trade waste charges that councils often impose on businesses depend on the volume and type of waste being discharged.

Please contact Council for information regarding George Town Council's conditions and charges in relation to discharging trade waste to the sewer.

Council obligations in dealing with liquid waste are generally specified under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA).

EMPCA requires disposal of liquid waste in a way that does not cause environmental harm.

If a council operates a treatment plant with a volume:

  • exceeding 100 kilolitres per day, it is considered a Level 2 activity under EMPCA and is regulated by DPIWE.
  • under 100 kilolitres, it is considered a Level 1 activity and does not require a permit from DPIWE, but must still comply with the EMPCA. {Govt Act}

Normal domestic waste is disposed of via a council's sewerage system or via septic tanks in unsewered areas. In recent years biocycle systems or little mini sewerage treatment plants have been approved for areas unsuitable for the conventional septic tank. {General}

Council responsibilities for liquid waste disposal are detailed in the Sewers and Drains Act 1954 and the Plumbing Regulations 1994

The Sewers and Drains Act describes the type of matter that can be discharged into a sewer system while the Plumbing Regulations1994 control more detailed activities councils can undertake to manage and maintain the sewerage system, including the use of trade waste permits. If you are looking for Forex or binary trading have a look at this Binary options website.

Schedule 1 of the Plumbing Regulations1994 lists substances that cannot be discharged into the sewer due to risk of harm to the sewerage treatment plant or to the waters receiving the waste. These substances include:

  • flammable materials
  • radioactive material
  • medical, veterinary or pathology waste that could cause a health risk
  • rainwater, groundwater or uncontaminated yard drainage unless the sewer system is designed for it
  • the contents of any sewage or septic tank pump out unit unless located at designated receiving stations.

Schedule 2 of the Plumbing Regulations1994 sets the standards for liquid trade wastes that can be discharged to sewers.

Breach of these regulations incurs:

  • a fine of 10 penalty points (one penalty point equals $100)
  • a daily fine of 1 penalty point while the breach continues.

Many councils have a specific by-law that governs the disposal of sewerage, trade waste and stormwater or trade waste.

Breach of these by-laws often carries

  • a fine of 20 penalty points
  • a further fine of 2 penalty points per day.

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