If your discharge of domestic sewage can’t be registered with us as exempt, you will need an Environmental Permit.

What is domestic sewage?

Domestic sewage includes waste water from:

  • toilets
  • personal washing, showering and bathing
  • household washing using domestic detergents
  • cooking at home for family and friends
  • commercial cooking for sale directly to consumers, such as a restaurant or sandwich bar – includes consumption on and off site
  • washing dishes and cooking equipment, on a scale comparable to domestic cooking, after using them on the premises
  • swimming pools at homes and hotels where they are provided free for residents and when the effluent is treated and discharged in combination with other domestic sewage effluent

Effluent from other sources is not domestic sewage, for example:

  • chemical toilets – at residential or commercial sites
  • washing at commercial premises of items received from off site – for example campsite launderettes open to non-residents, high street launderettes, centralised laundries for hotel chains
  • commercial cooking – food processing or cooking and packaging food for sale off site
  • municipal or commercial swimming pools

Are you in a sewered area?

Before applying for a permit you must check that you are not within an area with a public sewer. The use of private domestic sewage treatment in a sewered area is only permissible if connection to the public sewer is not feasible.

For more information see our webpage on ‘Private sewage treatment in an area with a public sewer’

Apply for an Environmental Permit to dispose of domestic sewage

If your discharge is for:

  • less than 15 cubic metres per day (15,000 litres) to ground via a drainage field
  • less than 20 cubic metres per day to surface water

you will need to complete our online application Form B6.5


If your discharge is for more than 15 cubic metres per day (15,000 litres) to ground or more than 20 cubic metres per day to surface water you will need to complete our online application form B6 


If you need advice before you make an application for a permit please use our pre-application advice service

Fees and charges

You will need to pay an application fee for this Environmental Permit and there will be an ongoing annual charge to cover our costs of maintaining and reviewing your permit, ensuring that you comply with the permit conditions and monitoring the water body that you discharge into.

Read more about fees and charges in our environmental permitting charging scheme.

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