Permit to Discharge


What is a permit?

If you can not comply with the exemption criteria, you will need to apply to the Environment Agency for a permit. A permit is a way of obtaining permission to discharge sewage effluent. There are two types of permit; the standard rules permit and the bespoke permit.

Obtaining a permit

If you are discharging to surface water, check that you can comply with the standard rules for the standard rules permit. If not you will need to apply for a bespoke permit. If you are discharging to groundwater, check with the Environment Agency to see which permit will apply.

The Standard Rules
Apply for a standard permit if you can meet the following criteria:
* The discharge must be domestic and not contain any trade effluent
* It must be impractical to connect to a foul sewer
* The sewage treatment plant must be designed and built to BS 12566 and sized according to Flows and Loads 3
* The treatment plant is operated and maintained according to the Manufacturer’s recommendations
* The discharge is made into a watercourse (and normally contains water throughout the year)
* The discharge cannot be made to water that is 1km upstream of an identified bathing water, a designated shellfish water, European Site , Ramsar site, Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), National Nature Reserve, Local Nature Reserve or any body of water identified as containing a Protected Species or within 100m from a Local Wildlife site. This restriction only applies to conservation sites that are water-based and linked to the receiving water downstream of the discharge point.

View this information on the Environment Agency here.

If you cannot meet the criteria above, you will need to apply for a bespoke permit. The application should include information on which criteria cannot be filled.

Applying for a permit

Please note that there is charge from the Environment Agency when applying for a permit. This must be paid at the time of application.

The above information has been cited from the Environment Agency website and is intended as a guideline only. Significant pieces of information relating to discharges from sewage treatment plants only are included on this page. For full information please contact your local EA or visit their website. Please note that it is your responsibility to check with the Environment Agency whether you need to obtain a Permit to Discharge.