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Liquid trade waste

Liquid trade waste means all liquid waste, other than domestic sewage, produced by a business, industrial or commercial activity, that is discharged to the sewerage system. It excludes domestic waste from a hand wash basin, shower, bath or toilet.

Due to its concentration levels, liquid trade waste may require pre-treatment prior to being discharged into the sewerage system.

Liquid trade waste includes liquids from:

  • businesses and commercial premises such as cafes, restaurants, hotels, service stations, mechanical workshops, supermarkets, beauticians, and butchers
  • industrial premises
  • community and public premises such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, pools, and universities
  • any of the above activities carried out at residential premises
  • trade activities, eg, mobile carpet cleaning
  • septic tank waste, chemical toilet waste
  • waste from marine pump-out facilities and established sites for the discharge of pan contents from portaloos, caravans and mobile homes to the sewerage system.

Why liquid trade waste management is needed

By controlling liquid trade waste discharges, Council, together with the operators and owners of businesses, are helping to protect the environment and public health, as well as reduce costs. The benefits of controlling liquid trade waste include:

  • protecting river systems by reducing the amount of problem substances reaching treatment plants
  • preventing harmful substances from damaging the sewer, disrupting the sewerage treatment plant process or contaminating land and water
  • reducing sewerage overflows and blockages by controlling the amount of grease discharged into the sewer
  • creating a safer workplace for people who work in and around the sewer
  • improving wastewater quality reaching the sewerage treatment plants, allowing our treatment processes to work more effectively and efficiently and not be harmed by sudden shocks of toxic substances.


Pre-treatment is any activity that removes contaminants from wastewater (eg, grease and oil) prior to discharging it to the sewerage system.

Pre-treatment equipment may include devices such as sink screens/strainers and grease arrestors that are installed in businesses where the activity produces oily and fatty wastes such as a restaurant or takeaway food outlet.

The installation of appropriate pre-treatment processes and devices should be specific to the activity being undertaken. This is necessary in the management of trade waste because it assists in reducing the concentration levels of substances discharged from business activities, to levels that the sewerage system can effectively transport and treat.

Obtain approval to discharge liquid trade waste

Discharging liquid trade waste without approval is an offence.

If you intend to conduct a business activity that generates and discharges liquid trade waste into Council's sewerage system, you will need to complete a Liquid Trade Waste Application to obtain approval from Council under Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act). This applies to both new and existing trade waste dischargers.

Application and fee

Application can be made by either the owner of the premises, or the tenant who carries out an activity on the premises. However, the tenant must have the property owner's written consent in order to apply for approval.

You can apply for Council approval by completing the application form:

  • You will need to pay the current application and inspection fee of $215 at the time of lodgement, referred to in Council's fees and charges.