What you need to know about trade waste pretreatment in QLD

By Mark Maggiore

Sales Manager

3 April 2020

Queensland is home to just over 5 million people and has a vibrant and growing economy, which offers opportunities for business. There are many natural attractions in Queensland, including the Great Barrier Reef, which is a World Heritage Site.

As such protection of the Queensland environment is a high priority to local and state governments. Stormwater systems must be kept clear of pollutants, and no trade wastewater may be discharged in Queensland without permission from the local authorities.

Cleanawater offers trade waste pretreatment solutions that satisfy the requirements of Queensland regulators.

Trade Waste Definitions and Sources

Queensland regulations define trade waste as “waterborne waste from business, trade or manufacturing premises, other than waste that is a prohibited substance, human waste or stormwater.”

Many businesses and industries have the potential to generate trade waste from their normal business activities. These include:

  • Food and beverage
  • Manufacturing and industrial
  • Metal processing and engineering
  • Mechanical workshops, service stations, and wash bays
  • Cleaning services
  • Medical and educational facilities

Any business seeking to discharge trade waste to the sewer network must first obtain permission from their local authority. Queensland Urban Utilities is one of the main local authorities. They publish clear policies and frameworks for dischargers in their network.

QUU trade waste policy

QUU have a broad trade waste policy that sets the parameters for trade waste approvals. Trade waste may not contain Prohibited Substances. Any substance contained in trade waste must be of a low concentration to prevent toxicity to personnel or harm to the sewer infrastructure or the environment.

A risk-based approach determines the type of trade waste and the conditions of discharge. Fees for trade waste discharge are related to the risks identified. Where necessary and practical, pretreatment should be performed on-site before discharging trade waste to the sewer.

Trade waste approval process

Any new business must apply for a trade waste licence before discharging to the sewer. The application includes a description of the nature of the business, characteristics and volume of the intended discharge, pretreatment solutions and the times and duration of trade waste discharge.

Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) issues their Trade Waste Approval subject to terms and conditions specified. Pretreatment conditions may include pH control or oil water separators depending on the nature of the business.

It is important to note that QUU does not allow stormwater or roof runoff water to enter the wastewater network. Downstream treatment plants cannot process large volumes of clean water. Businesses are therefore responsible for keeping stormwater and wastewater separated.

Trade Waste Officers have the right to enter the premises of a business to conduct inspections regarding compliance with their Trade Waste Approval.

Pretreatment options for QUU

Meeting the trade waste pretreatment conditions for QUU requires an understanding of the regulations as well as the technology of pretreatment solutions. Cleanawater offers pretreatment solutions that meet the requirements of QUU and help businesses with their trade waste compliance. Some pretreatment solutions offered by Cleanawater are as follows:

1. Chemical Dosing

Some processes generate trade waste that is outside the QUU specifications for pH. Dosing systems correct pH by adding alkaline or acid to the trade waste stream. Cleanawater has recirculating or inline pH dosing systems that automatically adjust the dosage rate to changes in trade waste quality.

Workshops and industrial facilities are typical users of pH control for their trade waste pretreatment.

2. Oil water separators

Oil leaks into the environment cause substantial damage to plant and animal life. Even small amounts of oil have the potential to spread and impact a large geographic area. Many industries generate oily trade waste, including service stations, workshops, equipment and vehicle wash bays. Their trade waste must be passed through an oil water separator before discharge to the sewer.

Oil water separators allow time for the oil to separate from water, form into droplets and rise to the surface. This oil is skimmed from the surface and collected for disposal. From the base of the separator, clean water discharges to sewer. Cleanawater oil water separators can remove oil from trade waste down to 5 ppm.

Talk to Cleanawater for expert advice

Cleanawater provides commercial wastewater treatment solutions and advice in Queensland. Our technical experts understand the regulations and can guide you through the process of permit application and compliance. Our pretreatment solutions meet the standards set by QUU, helping our customers meet their obligations for environmental duty of care.

Contact Cleanawater to find out more about our wastewater treatment solutions.

Mark Maggiore

Sales Manager

Businesses in QLD must meet the trade waste criteria before discharging trade waste to the sewer. This article describes what the requirements are and the solutions you need.

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