Spot sampling to raise effluent standards in Scotland

Changes to the trade effluent arrangements in Scotland means that licensed providers will now be able to carry out spot sampling of their business customers.

The results will be used to help business customers to better understand and control their trade effluent and meet their environmental obligations.

The new arrangements were bought in by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) and are supported by Scottish Water and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

Scottish Water will continue to be responsible for consent compliance and policing activities including when there is an immediate risk to the environment or workers.

Scottish Water is also making some changes to its own trade effluent management processes. This includes providing the results of regular samples and giving non-binding indicative decisions on consent applications within 45 days of receiving an application.

WICS chief executive, Alan Sutherland, said: “The sampling process will be undertaken by those closest to business customers, namely the licensed providers.

“They will be in a better position to assess their customers’ needs and consider additional services that could help customers meet their environmental obligations.

“We also expect that providers will advise customers how to reduce the amount they discharge, and so lower their trade effluent charges.

“The arrangements should benefit not only customers but also the environment, as less effluent will be put into our sewers and less energy will be required to treat it.”

Scottish Water is also developing an online portal for customers to access information about their trade effluent. It will be available to both customers and retailers and is due to be launched next month.

Alison Brown

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