The criminal offence of water pollution is defined as the entry of poisonous, noxious or polluting matter. This covers most inland and coastal waters (including groundwaters). The law has therefore clearly established the principle that such entry should be the exception and, where it is necessary, must be controlled.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA have a Section on Water Quality. This section provides links to material on quality of the water environment - rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater. This includes issues such as sewage treatment and disposal, bathing waters, dangerous substances, nitrates from agricultural sources, and economic instruments for water pollution. Further information is available from DEFRA as follows:
Telephone: 08459 33 55 77
Address: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Nobel House 17 Smith Square London SW1P 3JR
Visit the DEFRA Website
If your business operates a process which produces trade effluent discharge to sewer you will be subject to control by an effluent discharge consent. This sets the maximum volume of effluent you can discharge to sewer at any time and the maximum allowable strength of the effluent as well as setting out the acceptable composition of your effluent.
Effluent consent levels are determined by your water company and are set in order to protect the operational effectiveness of sewage works and to protect water courses, wildlife and the drinking water supply.
Exceeding discharge levels can result in environmental damage and your business could face fines.
Accidents happen and occasionally effluent consent levels are breached. When this happens we can help you minimise the impact and advice on how to restore normal levels as quickly as possible.