Are you keeping up to date with MCERTS?

So you've installed the equipment, taken the necessary measures and passed your first MCERTS inspection. Congratulations. Time to sit back and relax? Not if you want to successfully pass your next one…


For those who aren’t yet familiar with it (and you really should be if it applies to your process), MCERTS is the Environment Agency’s (EA) certification scheme to ensure your company has effective measures in place to monitor its effluent flows. Both industrial and water utility sites need to meet MCERTS requirements whenever their discharges must be monitored and controlled as part of their permits under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR), previously known as the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regulations. 


In its quest for thoroughness and consistency, MCERTS covers not just the technology used on your site, but also, through the Operator Monitoring Assessment (OMA) scheme, the competence of any operational staff responsible for maintaining or using it.


A key thing to remember is that your Site Conformity Inspection Certificate is only an indication of your site’s compliance on the actual date of inspection, Technology can wear out or become outdated and people can leave, fail to maintain their training or lapse into bad habits.


Furthermore, the key thing about MCERTS is that it is a continually evolving standard, with new requirements being added all the time such as the latest version of the Operator Monitoring Assessment standards.


The fact that your certificate lasts for five years could therefore actually lull you into a false sense of security. You should be using this intervening time to ensure that you’re using the latest Best Available Techniques (BAT) and that your staff are kept properly trained and are following a robust maintenance regime.


Luckily, whatever you may think of the MCERTS scheme, the Environment Agency is not there to catch companies out. You now have the option of having your site and operating procedures inspected up to a year in advance of the expiry of your certificate. If you pass, your new certificate will cover you for five years from the date your old certificate expires. If you fail, you’ll be expected to take remedial actions in time for your site to be recertified.


When it comes to measurement of effluent flows, ABB can also assist with achieving MCERTS compliance for your metering systems. Our support ranges from a simple annual meter verification through to facilitating the actual MCERTS inspections. We offer tailored support packages to ensure you have all the documentary evidence for a sound maintenance programme, which meets UK regulations.


So as you can see, it pays not only to keep up to date with MCERTS, but actually to get ahead of it and identify anything that could potentially jeopardise your next inspection.


If you want to find out more about keeping up to date with MCERTS, I will be presenting a seminar on this topic at IWEX on Thursday 22nd April at 13:30. Click here for more information.

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