Approval to discharge liquid trade waste

Any business that lets waste water (except domestic sewerage) into a Council sewer must apply for liquid trade waste approval from us. 

Use the form on this page to apply.

Liquid trade waste typically contains higher levels of:

  • grease
  • oils
  • solids
  • chemicals.

Liquid trade waste has the potential to damage the sewerage system, the environment and harm sewer operators.  


Property owners or their tenants may apply for approval to discharge liquid trade waste. Tenants must have written consent from the owner before they apply. 

Step 1.Complete the application form

Complete the liquid trade waste approval form

Step 2.Submit completed form

Step 3.Pay the fee

Processing fees apply. The cost depends on which category your business falls into, see liquid trade waste categories and fees below. 

Step 4.Assessment 

Once your application has been reviewed and assessed, we will email you to organise an inspection of your premise.

Step 5.Approval

Your approval will then be forwarded. This will contain conditions specific to your business.

Step 6.Change of ownership or activity

Liquid trade waste approvals are valid for a maximum of 5 years. You must lodge a new application if the approval holder changes or the activity generating the waste changes. 


Any business that lets liquid trade waste into a Council sewer must apply for liquid trade waste approval from us. Use the online form on this page to apply, plus find out more about liquid trade waste categories and charges. 

Trade waste is all liquid waste, generated on a commercial premises, and discharged to our sewerage system. This includes water contaminated with:

  • grease
  • oils
  • solids
  • chemicals.

Trade waste can damage the sewerage system, sewer operators and the environment.

Apply for a trade waste approval

Owners or tenants may apply for approval. Tenants must have written consent from the owner before they apply. 

It is the discharger’s responsibility to:

  • Pre-treat their waste to a level acceptable for discharge to the sewer.
  • Consistently comply with all the conditions in Council’s approval.

Liquid trade waste categories and charges

Fees apply. Liquid trade waste is categorised and charged according to:

  • The type of liquid waste discharged (determined by the business activities).
  • The quantity of liquid waste discharged.
  • The potential risk to the sewerage system, public health and the environment.
  • Pre-treatment requirements. Contact us for information on the type of pre-treatment needed.

Liquid trade waste charges include:

  • Registration fee.
  • Category 1 – applies to dischargers requiring nil or minimal pre-treatment and may include prescribed pre-treatment and low impact to the sewerage system.
  • Category 2 – applies to dischargers with prescribed pre-treatment.
  • Category 2S – applies to dischargers transporting or discharging septic tank or pan content waste to the sewerage system.
  • Category 3 – applies to large dischargers (>20kL/day) and industrial or manufacturing type waste. 

Trade waste issues

Excess grease and fats can increase the load on the sewerage treatment system, cause blockages and increase hydrogen sulphide being produced.

This can cause:

  • overflows of untreated sewage to the environment 
  • bad odours
  • increased maintenance costs
  • corrosion of the sewerage infrastructure.  

Liquid trade waste dischargers are divided into four Categories with different fees. The categories are based on the level of impact the waste has on the sewerage system.  

For more information see Fees and Charges

Table of Liquid Trade Waste categories and fees
Category Application processing fee

Category 1 Nil or minimum pre-treatment 

Business activities generating low risk liquid trade waste requiring minimal or limited pre-treatment.


Category 2 Prescribed pre-treatment 

Business activities generating medium risk liquid trade waste that requires prescribed pre-treatment equipment (such as a grease arrestor).


Category 2S Septic, pan and ship to shore 

Business activities involving transporting and discharging septic tank or portable toilet content waste. Also applies to any property with a caravan or motorhome liquid waste dump point.


Category 3 Large and industrial dischargers 

Business activities discharging large volumes (over 20 kilolitres per day) of liquid trade waste. Also applies to high-risk dischargers or Business operations not fitting the above Categories. 


Amended approval

Businesses seeking to amend a current approval. Also applies to Businesses renewing an approval prior to expiry date.

50% of relevant application fee

To protect Council’s sewerage transport and treatment systems most liquid trade waste needs to be pre-treated before it is discharged. 

Typical pre-treatment processes and equipment include:

  • exclusion of solid waste – sink and floor drain screening
  • retention of grease and fat – grease arrestor
  • separation of hydrocarbon oil – oil separator
  • correction of discharge temperature – cooling pit.

More complex pre-treatment processes such as pH adjustment and biological treatment are required for some high-risk liquid trade waste streams.

Pre-treatment systems need regular maintenance. Your trade waste approval will specify the requirements.

You must not discharge the following into the sewerage system or your pre-treatment system:

  • Used cooking oil
  • Solvents
  • Rain water
  • Some chemicals 
  • Any type of liquid waste that may affect the performance of pre-treatment processes.

Your trade waste approval will identify substances that must not be included in your liquid trade waste stream.

Plumbing approval

Plumbing approval is required for installing liquid trade waste pre-treatment equipment, apart from replacing sink and floor drain screening. 

To apply for plumbing approval see Plumbing and Drainage application

If the discharge of liquid trade waste is not approved or fails to comply with approval conditions, you may be subject to increased disposal costs and fines.

This is in accordance with the Local Government Act.

We may also need to recover costs of damages resulting from illegal liquid waste discharge.