Apply for a permit to discharge domestic sewage
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:
- 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.
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 which differs depending on the volume you’ll be discharging and where your treated effluent is being discharged.
If you discharge to surface water (this means rivers, ditches, lakes, ponds, canals, estuaries or the sea) the application fee is:
For discharges of less than 5000 litres (5 cubic metres) per day: £3622
For discharges between 5000 and 20,000 litres (5 to 20 cubic metres) per day: £3974
For discharges of 20,000 litres (20 cubic metres) or more per day: £5609
If you discharge to ground (this means making a discharge to a drainage field or infiltration system) the application fee is:
For discharges of less than 5000 litres (5 cubic metres) per day - £3376
For discharges between 5000 and 15,000 (5 to 15 cubic metres per day) litres per day - £4167
For discharges of 15,000 litres (15 cubic metres) or more per day - £5609
Habitats Assessments fee
If your discharge is near a recognised European habitat site we will need to carry out a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) as part of assessing your permit application. This will require payment of an additional fee of £2734.
Environmental Risk Assessments fee
If your discharge into surface water contains hazardous chemicals and elements we may need to complete an Environmental Risk Assessment as part of assessing your permit application. This will require payment of an additional fee of £2734
Applications with insufficient detail to progress
If we return your application due to insufficient detail and so are unable to progress past the
application accepted stage, we will retain 10% of the application fee. We will only return an application after first giving you an opportunity to supply missing information.
If you decide to withdraw your permit application
If you decide to withdraw your permit application after we have accepted it, we will retain 100% of the application fee. If you decide to withdraw before we’ve progressed from the application accepted stage, we will retain 10% of the application fee.
There will be an ongoing annual charge for discharges over five cubic metres per day 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.