Trade waste

Wastewater from industries, businesses and manufacturing processes is known as “trade waste”.

The objectives of our trade waste management policy are to protect:

  • The health and safety of trade waste customers, their staff and those people working in and around the sewerage network
  • The environment
  • The Corporation’s works by preventing costly blockages and maximising the life expectancy of the sewer pipes
  • The operation of the wastewater treatment plant
  • The opportunity to beneficially reuse biosolids and treated effluent

Central Highlands Water requires all customers that discharge trade waste to enter into a Trade Waste Agreement with us before discharging into the sewerage system.


What is trade waste and where does it go?

Trade waste is generated from businesses such as food processing works, restaurants, fast food outlets, dry cleaners, car wash services and photographic development businesses. It can contain heavy metals, dissolved solids, high concentrations of grease and oil or highly organic matter.

As with all wastewater, trade waste makes its way to Central Highlands Water’s wastewater treatment plant via a network of underground sewer pipes. Following a complex treatment process that takes several weeks, clean water is again released to the environment.

For detailed definitions refer to the Trade Waste Regulations 2014

What is the Trade Waste Charter?

Central Highlands Water has a Trade Waste Charter informing customers about our service commitments and standards, and your rights and obligations as a trade waste customer.

The Charter is in line with the Trade Waste Customer Service Code from the Essential Services Commission.

The Trade Waste Customer Charter should be read in conjunction with our Customer Charter.

Who needs a pre-treatment assessment and agreement?

Central Highlands Water requires all customers that discharge trade waste to enter into an agreement. In most instances trade waste customers will need to pre-treat their waste prior to it entering the sewerage system.

Central Highlands Water may refuse to accept trade waste into the sewerage system without an agreement and correct pre-treatment (The Water Act 1989).

All commercial, industrial and retail properties should be assessed by Central Highlands Water to determine their individual trade waste requirements and pre-treatment obligations.

If you discharge waste into the sewerage system from a property other than your home, please contact our Trade Waste Officer to arrange for a trade waste assessment.

What does an agreement include and how do I apply?

A typical trade waste agreement will include information about your business, details of your rights and obligations and a description of your pre-treatment maintenance commitment.

Before you discharge your trade waste to sewer, it is necessary to apply to Central Highlands Water for an agreement that allows you to discharge trade waste to the Corporation's sewer. To receive a copy of the necessary application forms contact our Trade Waste Officer. An application fee applies.

Why do I need to install pre-treatment equipment?

The treatment processes at Central Highlands Water’s treatment plants are complex and finely balanced, so they can easily be disrupted by non-conforming or poorly treated trade waste. To protect the local environment, we require trade waste to be pre-treated prior to entering the sewerage system.

Pre-treating your trade waste will help to protect the operation of the wastewater treatment plant. It will also help by maximising the life expectancy of the sewer pipes, including the plumbing inside your property. It will help to prevent costly blockages and expensive downtime, and will also provide a safer working environment for you, your staff and those people working in and around the sewerage network.

What type of pre-treatment device should I install?

Central Highlands Water encourages you to consider pre-treatment options other that the traditional in-ground grease or triple interceptor trap. There are many options available now, some of which are portable and far more effective than traditional methods.

However the type of pre-treatment is dependent on the types of waste to be produced. Most plumbing suppliers will have information that may assist, or you may like to contact us online, by phone on 1800 061 514.

How do I install the equipment and where?

The manufacturer should supply installation instructions with the equipment. We recommend that they be followed in conjunction with the relevant plumbing regulations. It is also important that the equipment be installed in a postion that caters for ease of cleaning and servicing.

For technical advice on plumbing regulations and current standards we suggest you speak to a licensed plumber or the Plumbing Industry Commission.

Who is responsible for maintaining the equipment?

The occupier of the property is responsible for cleaning and servicing of the equipment, unless the property owner and the occupier agree to other arrangements. It may also be a service that the supplier of the pre-treatment equipment is able to provide.

How often should I clean and service the equipment?

The manufacturer will specify service intervals and is a good source of information for cleaning intervals. It may also depend on the loads placed on the equipment and may need to be cleaned more frequently to satisfy the terms of the agreement with Central Highlands Water. It is also necessary to maintain a log showing the maintenance and servicing of the equipment, such log to be available for inspection by the Central Highlands Water's Trade Waste Officer.

Remember that when the equipment is cleaned out, the resultant waste must be disposed of by an EPA licensed waste disposal specialist.

If there is any doubt about the need to clean the equipment more frequently we suggest you speak with our Trade Waste Officer and arrange a free visit to discuss your needs.

What is a trade waste management plan and how do I get one?

Central Highlands Water requires all trade waste customers provide a trade waste management plan when submitting a trade waste application to us.

A trade waste management plan is a document produced by the applicant that describes the way in which the applicant will maintain their pre-treatment equipment, how often they will clean the pre-treatment equipment and what can be done to reduce the amount of trade waste discharged.

The plan must also include details of what will happen if the quality of the applicant’s trade waste fails to meet the acceptable quality standards, or what can be done in the event that the Corporations sewer mains are unavailable.

For assistance with developing your trade waste management plan, we recommend that you refer to the Victorian Trade Waste Management Plan Guidelines, or contact us directly.

For further advice regarding your trade waste application or trade waste management plan, please contact Central Highlands Water on 1800 061 514.

What if there is a change of property or business ownership?

Each Trade Waste Agreement is location and customer specific. So if the location of a business or the business owner changes, a new Trade Waste Agreement will need to be formulated.

In some instances the property owner can change but the occupying business remains unchanged. In this case no further application is required.

If you are the owner of a property that discharged trade waste but it no longer does so, you are required to:

  • disconnect any apparatus that trade waste was discharged through, and
  • cancel the Trade Waste Agreement with us.

What should I do if I have a complaint?

If you have a complaint or dispute please contact our Trade Waste Team and we will endeavour to resolve the matter.

If you are still dissatisfied or unhappy with our response to your complaint, please let us know and we will have your complaint assessed by our Customer Resolution Officer.

For more information download our Trade Waste Customer Charter.