Our new blog mini-series “Managing trade effluent in…” will demonstrate the effects of trade effluent in different industries and what measures each can implement to help reduce the associated costs. We will begin the series by discussing how trade effluent impacts the leisure industry.

Before we dive into the series, let’s start with first explaining what trade effluent actually means. Essentially the term ‘trade effluent’ refers to any form of liquid waste that contains additional materials to domestic sewage. Trade effluent is a by-product created in many industries and is often generated in large volumes.

Any business that produces trade effluent requires legal consent to dispose of this type of wastewater. Trade effluent charges are allocated to businesses who have legal consent to decant contaminated or non-domestic liquid waste into sewer systems. Discarding trade effluent without consent is regarded as a criminal offense.

Leisure Centres

It has been a challenging last year for leisure centres. After being closed for long periods of time during lockdown they are now able to reopen and start generating income… and more trade effluent.

Whether it be from spas and/or swimming pools, most leisure centres generate some form of trade effluent. Consider the effluent by-products formed by the use of hot tubs, spa facilities and swimming pools and the processes that are involved to safely discharge this contaminated water. The costs to dispose of trade effluent both legally and safely can accumulate quickly.

How can sport and leisure centres minimise trade effluent charges?

There are 2 methods to minimise effluent charges:

  1. improving water efficiency
  2. decreasing the effluent concentration

Create an effluent reduction program that sets objectives to reduce your trade effluent chemical concentration and monitor the volume of contaminated wastewater being produced. Consider employing additional preventative measure to help mitigate drainage pollution.

Start by identifying areas in the leisure centres that are the source of trade effluent and what measure can be implemented to minimise the effects.

Swimming pools

Any commercial swimming pool in the UK legally requires discharge consent or a trade effluent licence. Water samples must be collected and tested to monitor effluent discharge and establish costs of disposal. Castle Water offers a range of water treatment services.

Public pools also have many additional costly factors. These are associated with the water having to be continuously filtered, circulated, and heated. But there are some aspects to consider that may help cut costs.

Installing complex water filters

By installing more complex water filters the contaminated wastewater from swimming pools can be better treated. This will instantly help to reduce the effluent strength and as a result minimise costs.

Manage water flow

Control the flow of water using swimming pool pumps to slow the water circulation. Altering the water speed will decrease the energy being used to power the water system and use less water to top up the pool water level.


Install sensors and detectors

Improve business water efficiency and preserve water by installing detection sensors that will turn off the shower water valves when the shower cubicle is not being occupied.

Timer or water saving taps

Another similar method of saving water consumption is to use water timers or water saving taps that are designed to allow water to flow for a designated number of minutes before the turning off the water valve. These will both help to preserve water.

Greywater recovery

The wastewater collected from showers, known as greywater, should be collected, treated and then reused into toilet systems. Using greywater equipment will lessen the pressure on your business mains water system as well as cut costs.


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