How do I know whether I can obtain an exemption or whether I need a permit?
There are certain criteria to meet in order to apply for an exemption. If these criteria cannot be met, then you should apply for a permit. Firstly, you will need to know how much effluent you will be discharging a day. The Environment Agency has a simple way to work out the volume that you will be discharging each day (see below). This will give you a good idea whether you should apply for a permit or exemption.
Please note that this only applies to domestic effluent, if your effluent contains trade effluent, please view the information on permits. It is probably wise to speak to your local Environment Agency too.
If you are discharging to:
· Surface water (i.e. a watercourse) under 5m3 a day; or
· Groundwater (i.e a soakaway) under 2m3 a day
Go to the information on exemptions to check the further criteria.
If you are discharging
· To surface water over 5m3 per day; or
· To groundwater over 2m3 per day
Go to the information on permits to check which type of permit you require.
How to work out the daily volume of domestic effluent:
Total number of bedrooms = A
Number of properties that feed into unit = B
Total B × 0.5 = Total C
Total A + Total C = Total D
Total D × 150 = Total E
Total E ÷ 1,000 = Total F
Total F is the maximum volume of effluent you are discharging per day.
Total number of bedrooms = 8 (4 in each property)
Number of properties that feed into unit = 2
2 × 0.5 = 1
8+ 1 = 9
9 × 150 = 1620
1620 ÷ 1,000 = (F) 1.62m3
The total maximum daily volume to discharge is 1.62m3
Consent in Scotland
View Consent information for Scotland
Extra information: Existing discharges and consent
If you already have Consent to Discharge this will automatically become an environmental permit. You do not need to re-apply.
If you are discharging 5m3 a day or less from a sewage treatment plant to surface water, you will need register for an exemption, before making a discharge. If you have already made a discharge, you need to register as soon as possible.
If you are already discharging or intending to discharge 2m3 a day or less from a sewage treatment plant to groundwater, you will need to register your discharge by 1st January 2012.
Go to information on exemptions
Go to information on Permits