Press Releases 2011

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New trade effluent arrangements will benefit customers and the environment

14 July 2011


From today, all of the licensed providers operating in Scotland’s competitive market for water and sewerage services will be able to undertake regular and spot sampling of trade effluent. The new arrangements will help business customers better understand and control both their trade effluent discharge and the associated charges.

The changes are supported by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and by Scottish Water, and were developed through a series of joint stakeholder workshops run by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS).

Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive of WICS 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.”

Once taken by the licensed providers, the samples can be analysed by an accredited laboratory or at Scottish Water’s facilities. Scottish Water will continue to remain responsible for consent compliance and policing activities, including investigating situations where there is an immediate risk to either its staff or the environment.

Scottish Water is making a number of changes to its own trade effluent management processes under the new arrangements. This includes providing the results of regular samples as soon as possible and giving non-binding indicative decisions on consent applications within 45 days of receiving an application (this is on top of the legal requirement to provide a final decision within 90 days).

To streamline customers’ access to information about their trade effluent Scottish Water is also developing an online portal. The portal, which will be accessible to both customers and retailers, is due to go live next month. Mr Sutherland added:

“Scottish Water’s trade effluent portal represents a step change in the way trade effluent consent information is available to customers. We understand that Scottish Water will be the first water company in the UK to provide such a service, further raising the levels of service Scottish customers receive from the industry.”


For more press information please contact: Duncan Mackenzie-Reid College Hill, 020 7457 2020 or on mobile 07807 239 764/07792 918 648  [email protected]

Katherine Russell, WICS’ Director of Corporate Affairs, 01786 430 200

Notes to editors:

1.       WICS is the economic regulator of the Scottish water industry. It has a statutory duty to determine charge caps for Scottish Water based on the lowest overall reasonable cost of achieving the Scottish Government’s objectives for the water industry.

2.       WICS, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Water have published a joint policy statement about the trade effluent management activities.

3.       The retail market for water and sewerage services was opened to competition in Scotland in April 2008. Since then, all 130,000 non-household customers have been able to choose the licensed provider that best meets their needs. Information about the licensed providers operating in the market is available on

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