Liquid Trade Waste

Liquid Trade Waste Policy

On this page you will find:

  • What liquid trade waste is and how it could apply to your business
  • How to obtain an approval to discharge liquid trade waste

Liquid Trade Waste Policy & Guidelines

Council’s Liquid Trade Waste Policy & Guidelines have been developed to ensure the proper control of liquid trade waste and therefore ensuring the protection of public health, worker safety, the environment, and Council’s sewer system.

Our Policy and Guidelines stipulate the requirements for approval, ongoing monitoring and the enforcement process for liquid trade wastes being discharged to Council’s sewer system. The Policy & Guidelines can be found here: Liquid Trade Waste Policy & Guidelines.  

What is Liquid Trade Waste?

Sewer systems are generally designed to collect, transfer and treat domestic liquid waste that are essentially of predictable strength and quality. Liquid Trade Waste means “all liquid waste that is other than sewage of a domestic nature that discharges into the sewer system”. If not controlled, Liquid Trade Waste can cause serious problems to public health, worker safety, Council’s sewer system and the environment.

Council adopted its Liquid Trade Waste Policy in recognition that some businesses and industry need to discharge Liquid Trade Waste as part of their business processes. Council may accept Liquid Trade Waste into its sewer system, provided that the discharges are controlled within acceptable limits by use of pre-treatment devices (e.g. grease traps) and systems. A person wishing to discharge Liquid Trade Waste to the sewer system must obtain approval from Council prior to discharge.

Please Note: Discharging Liquid Trade Waste without an approval or failing to comply with the conditions of an approval, may result in a penalty as provided under the Local Government Act 1993 and/or the Protection of the Environment Operations (POEO) Act 1997.

Refer to our Liquid Trade Waste Policy & Guidelines.

What businesses are considered as a liquid trade waste discharger?

  • Business/commercial premises (e.g. beautician, florist, hairdresser, hotel, motel, restaurant, butcher, service station, supermarket, dentist)
  • Community/public premises (including craft club, school, college, university, hospital and nursing home)
  • Industrial premises
  • Trade activities (e.g. mobile carpet cleaner)
  • Any commercial activities carried out at a residential premise
  • Saleyards, racecourses and from stables and kennels that are not associated with domestic households
  • Septic tank waste, chemical toilet waste, waste from established sites for the discharge of pan content from mobile homes/caravans to the sewerage system.

    Note: While septic tank, pan waste are defined as trade waste, specific procedures need to be applied to their management as the waste is often transported from its source to the sewer system.

    Liquid trade waste does not include:

  • Toilet, hand wash basin (used for personal hygiene only), shower and bath wastes derived from all the premises and activities mentioned above
  • Wastewater from residential toilets, kitchens, bathrooms or laundries (i.e. domestic sewage)
  • Common use (non-residential) kitchen and laundry facilities in a caravan park
  • Residential swimming pool backwash
  • While stormwater and unpolluted water are not considered as liquid trade waste, they are still not permitted to be discharged to Council’s sewer system without approval. 

What business activities are Deemed to be Approved?

“Deemed to be Approved” Trade Waste Dischargers are businesses that are exempt from requiring a trade waste approval, however must still be registered with Council as a trade waste discharger and meet specific pre-treatment requirements, as stated in our Liquid Trade Waste Policy & Guidelines.


Bed and Breakfast (not more than 10 persons including proprietor)

Community hall (minimal hot food, small kitchen)

Day care center (minimal hot food prepared)

Delicatessen – no hot food prepared

Dental technician (no X-ray)

Doctor’s surgery medical Centre (plaster casts, no X-ray)

Dog/cat grooming salon

Pet shop


Fruit and vegetable retail

Funeral parlour


Jewellery shop (Mini-plater, ultrasonic washing, precious stone cutting)

Mixed business (minimal hot food)

Mobile cleaning units (carpet cleaning, garbage bin washing)

Motel (no hot food prepared and no laundry facility)

Nut shop

Optical service – retail, glass or plastic cutting and grinding

Pizza reheating for home delivery

Primary Schools (minimal hot food, no boarding)


Sandwich shop, salad bar, juice bar, coffee shop (no hot food prepared)

Venetian blind cleaning

What do we consider a “High Risk Business”?

High Risk Businesses are liquid trade waste dischargers that conduct an activity which is of an industrial nature and/or results in the discharge of large volumes of liquid trade waste into the sewerage system.

Examples can include:


Chemical or Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing and repackaging

Food Processing (e.g. cannery, condiments, potato, seafood, fruit & vegetable etc.)

Brewery (>2000 kL/day)

Plants Nursery (open areas)

Timber Processing (joinery and furniture, plywood, hardwood)

Tip Leachate

Winery, Spirits Bottling, Vineyard or Brewery

Flour Milling

Metal Processing and/or Finishing

Carpet or Textile Manufacturer

Mirror and/or Glass Manufacturer

Paint Stripping, Powder Coating and/or Sandblasting

Internal washing of trucks / tanks

For more information on businesses considered high risk, please refer to our Liquid Trade Waste Policy & Guidelines.

Septic Waste & Portable Toilet Waste Transportation & Disposal

Septic Waste & Portable Toilet Waste Transportation & Disposal activities include transporting and/or discharging septic tank or pan content waste to the sewerage system. These activities do not include Bus / Rail Coaches decanting and/or Dump Points for caravan parks, caravan/motor homes. For these activities, please complete the standard Trade Waste Application.

Examples include:

  • Septage, Sludge from primary and/or septic tank
  • Portable toilet waste

Prohibited Substances

In accordance with our Liquid Trade Waste Policy & Guidelines, the following substances are prohibited from being discharged into the sewer system:

  • Organochlorine weedicides, fungicides, pesticides, herbicides and substances of a similar nature and/or wastes arising from the preparation of these substances
  • Organophosphorus pesticides and/or waste arising from the preparation of these substances
  • Any substances liable to produce noxious or poisonous vapours in the sewerage system
  • Organic solvents and mineral oil
  • Any flammable or explosive substance
  • Discharges from ‘Bulk Fuel Depots’
  • Chromate from cooling towers
  • Natural or synthetic resins, plastic monomers, synthetic adhesives, rubber and plastic emulsions
  • Roof, rain, surface, seepage or subsoil water, unless specifically permitted under clause137A of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005
  • Solid matter including wet wipes, colostomy bags, sanitary napkins
  • Alkaline hydrolysis process for cremation
  • Any substance assessed as not suitable to be discharged into the sewer system
  • Waste that contains pollutants at concentrations which inhibit the sewage treatment process – refer Australian Sewage Quality Management Guidelines June 2012, WSAA
  • Any other substances listed in a relevant regulation.
Apply for a Liquid Trade Waste Approval

To apply to discharge liquid trade waste, complete the relevant application form below and submit to Council. A member from our Trade Waste Team will be in contact with you shortly after submitting your application to discuss further.

Have some questions? Please contact a member of our Trade Waste Team on 02 4868 0888.

Liquid Trade Waste Discharger Application

Apply to become a Liquid Trade Waste discharger for all liquid trade waste generating activities. Including “Deemed to be Approved” businesses. 

Apply to discharge Septic Waste & Portable Toilet Waste Transportation & Disposal 

To apply for a Liquid Trade Waste Approval to discharge septic tank waste and/or portable toilet waste.

Apply to Discharge Liquid Trade Waste: Septic Tank/Portable Toilet Waste

What fees & charges apply?

Council assesses and classifies Liquid Trade Waste dischargers into the 5 charging categories. The charging category determines the fees applicable in accordance with your Liquid Trade Waste Approval. The charging categories are as follows:

Category 1 - Dischargers requiring nil/minimal pre-treatment or prescribe pre-treatment with low impact on the sewerage system.

Category 2 - Dischargers with prescribed treatment with medium impact.

Category 2M - Dischargers with multiple occupants on the property (e.g. shopping centres, industrial estates etc.).

Category 2S - Septic tank and portable toilet waste dischargers.

Category 3 - large dischargers (over 16 kL per day) and/ or Industrial dischargers with a high impact to the sewer system. 

For the current fees and charges rates, please refer to our Fees & Charges page.  

To manage your trade waste account, please refer to Manage your Water Account page.