Trade Waste

Understanding Trade Waste

Understanding the responsibilities and relationship between water usage, wastewater discharge to the wastewater system and our environment can save you money and avoid any breaches of the law. This brings benefits to you as an organisation, business, shop owner or property owner and to South Gippsland Water.

South Gippsland Water aims to promote the effective and efficient management of trade waste for the protection of the health and safety of SGW’s staff and the public, the environment, and SGW’s infrastructure and treatment processes.

This guide is designed to assist you to better understand Trade waste responsibilities and the steps you need to take to gain a Trade Waste Agreement.

What is Trade Waste?

Trade waste is liquid waste generated by industry, business, trade or manufacturing process. The Water Act 1989 prohibits the unauthorised discharge of trade waste, other than domestic sewage, into the sewerage system. This Act ensures that producers of trade waste in Victoria obtain Agreement from their Local Water Business to discharge their trade waste to the sewerage system.

In general terms trade waste is liquid waste other than domestic sewage. It is wastewater that would normally be generated from any commercial premises, industry, trade or manufacturing business. You must have an Agreement from SGW to discharge trade waste into SGW’s wastewater system.

The Water Act 1989 SGW with the legal power to manage trade waste discharges so that they can then effectively ensure compliance with all requirements under the Environment Protection Act.

Management of Trade Waste

South Gippsland Water aims to maintain a wastewater system to service residential, commercial and light industrial businesses. Our trade waste objectives are:

  • To protect the safety of our personnel and the general public.
  • To ensure that waste permitted into the sewer can be treated by our treatment processes.
  • To protect our assets from unsafe or unsuitable substances.
  • To encourage waste minimisation amongst trade waste dischargers.
  • To ensure that the waste accepted to the wastewater system does not limit the ability to reuse biosolids or treated wastewater.

The following documents can be downloaded for more information regarding the management of trade waste.

Trade Waste Policy
Trade Waste Procedure
Trade Waste Customer Charter
ESC Trade Waste Customer Service Code
Application for Trade Waste Agreement Form
Trade Waste Application Guide Procedure

Trade Waste Acceptance Criteria

South Gippsland Water has established a trade waste procedure to ensure that trade waste risks and impacts are being managed appropriately. The nature and levels of the components and characteristics of any trade waste discharged to sewer must comply at all times with the acceptance criteria as outlined in the following document.

Trade Waste Statement of Approved Acceptance Criteria Information


In most businesses, pre-treatment of the trade waste is a requirement before it is discharged to sewer. Each business type will have its own requirements for pre-treatment. Many take-away food businesses, for example, will require a grease and oil interceptor. The purpose of this interceptor is to trap grease, oil and food particles at the source, and preventing it from entering the sewerage system where it may cause blockages.

The type of pre-treatment required will depend on the type of business. South Gippsland Water trade waste staff can assist businesses to determine general pre-treatment requirements. To determine the specific design of pre-treatment equipment required to meet the acceptance criteria limits, businesses may need to contact the Plumbing Industry Commission, engineering consulting services, equipment manufacturers, or a suitably qualified plumber. A registered plumber will need to be engaged to carry out installation of equipment.

Trade Waste Pre Treatment Recommendations – Food
Trade Waste Pre Treatment Recommendations – Motor

Trade Waste Agreements and Consents

South Gippsland Water classifies trade waste customers with consideration to the type of business, industry or activity carried out by the customer into Category 1, 2 or 3. Category 1 trade waste customers pose the lowest risk, with Category 3 the highest. Trade waste charges shall then be assessed by reference to the waste categories. Trade waste categories are outlined in the Trade Waste Procedure document which can be downloaded above.

Prior to the discharge of trade waste to the sewerage system, customers are required to enter into a Trade Waste Agreement or Consent with SGW. Category 1 trade waste customers will be provided with a Trade Waste Consent, whilst Category 2 and 3 customers will enter into a Trade Waste Agreement with South Gippsland Water. Examples of standard consent and agreement documents are included below.

Trade Waste Consent Form
Trade Waste Consent for Deemed Trade Waste Customers Form
Trade Waste Agreement Form

“Deemed” Trade Waste Customers

South Gippsland Water has a number of non-residential customers who discharge to the sewerage system and would come under the definition of “Trade Waste” but are considered too small for South Gippsland Water to require a Trade Waste Agreement, and do not warrant the additional level of administration and monitoring that comes with this. Clause 4.4 of the ESC Trade Waste Customer Service Code makes provision for dischargers of trade waste of a nature similar to domestic sewage, at South Gippsland Water’s discretion, to have their agreement arise automatically through customer conduct. These types of customers are classified as “Deemed” trade waste customers, and their discharge will be subject to the Standard Trade Waste Consent for “Deemed” Trade Waste Customers, which is included below.

Trade Waste Consent for Deemed Trade Waste Customers Form

Customers who, by definition in Water Law, discharge trade waste, but that:

  • Discharge small quantities of trade waste to South Gippsland Water’s sewer and which is of a similar nature to domestic sewage; or
  • Operates a business of a type which discharges small quantities of trade waste to South Gippsland Water’s sewer and which is of a similar nature to domestic sewage, will be considered “Deemed” trade waste customers.

Businesses that South Gippsland Water may consider to fall into this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Small food businesses
  • Sporting facilities (without catering facilities)
  • Doctors surgery/clinic
  • Opticians
  • Florists
  • Funeral parlour
  • Tattoo/piercing establishments
  • Beauticians

Cleaner Production and Waste Minimisation

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) provides the following waste hierarchy which South Gippsland Water fully supports (in order of preference):

  • Avoidance
  • Reuse
  • Recycling
  • Recovery of energy
  • Treatment
  • Containment
  • Disposal

Here are some tips to consider in your daily business activities which will help to reduce greasy waste, protect the environment, and save you money:

  • Wipe dishes with a cloth or paper towel before washing
  • Pour used oil into containers for recycling
  • Use less cooking oil where you can
  • Collect food scraps for composting
  • Use less detergent
  • Sweep floors before washing
  • Ensure that NO OIL goes down the drain

Please DON’T put these things into the sewerage system;

  • Household Chemicals like solvents, paints or pesticides
  • Grease or oil from cooking
  • Food scraps including coffee grounds and tea leaves
  • Items such as cotton buds, syringes, razor blades or condoms
  • Any other solid substance.

Things you CAN DO to help;

  • Install sink strainers to catch food waste
  • Soak up cooking oils & fats using kitty litter or paper towel and place this into your rubbish bin
  • Place a rubbish bin in the bathroom or toilet
  • Use low phosphorous detergents
  • Pin up a reminder for house guests & holiday renters

Trade Waste Charges

Trade waste charges are split into three categories. These include:

  • A once-off application fee
  • An annual service fee
  • A volumetric fee (for the volume of water used/discharged to the wastewater system)

If required a quality charge may also be applicable.

South Gippsland Water will only impose fees and charges in connection with trade waste in accordance with the prices and pricing principles set out in the price determination made by the Essential Services Commission for SGW.

Tariffs Schedule – Minor Trade Waste Tariffs – See Tariffs & Prices Page
Application for Trade Waste Agreement Form
Trade Waste Discharge Information Sheet