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Commercial trade waste

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While our customers may not think about what goes down the drain, we have a whole team dedicated to making sure unsuitable waste isn’t put in the sewer system.

We have limits for our sewer system and regularly monitor our sewer mains to make sure waste is within these limits. We can refuse to accept waste from businesses discharging waste exceeding these limits, as our wastewater (sewerage) treatment plants cannot treat wastewater with high amounts of fats, chemicals etc.

To ensure businesses do the right thing, commercial customers are part of our Trade Waste Program. The aim of the program is to work with businesses to minimise and monitor waste discharges to the sewerage system.

The Water Act 1989 requires any business discharging waste to sewer to enter into a Trade Waste Agreement with us. The agreement outlines the conditions under which Gippsland Water will consent to the discharge of trade waste to our system.

For example, businesses will be required to regularly pump grease and oil from their interceptors and remove the waste material from site.

What is trade waste?

We receive domestic wastewater from homes and trade waste from businesses. If your property is not a residence, any waste going down the drain is called trade waste.

Trade waste is the liquid waste generated by an industry, business, trade or manufacturing process, which is acceptable for discharge to sewer.

Common types of trade waste are greasy waste and oily waste.

Greasy waste contains fats and grease. It mainly originates from the washing procedure during the preparation of food. Oily waste originates from motor industry processes such as washing engines, washing cars and service stations.

Waste disposal

The regular cleaning and removal of grease and oil from your interceptor is your responsibility and must be carried out by an Environment Protection Authority-licensed transporter.

Your trade waste agreement will state how frequently you need to have your pre-treatment apparatus cleaned out.

Grease/oil interceptors (traps)

The purpose of a grease or oil interceptor is to stop grease and oil going into the sewerage system, where it can cause blockages. Depending on the type of business, other types of pre-treatment may also be required. We can help you determine what sort of pre-treatment is required or whether an existing trap needs to be upgraded. A registered plumber will need to be engaged to carry out any works such as this.

Cleaner production and waste minimisation

The Environment Protection Authority provides the following waste hierarchy which Gippsland Water supports (in order of preference):

  • Avoidance
  • Re-use
  • Recycling
  • Recovery of energy
  • Treatment
  • Containment
  • Disposal

In some cases we need businesses to prepare waste management plans, which need to focus on the sources of wastes, waste minimisation and treatment of trade waste.

Some tips to thing about in your daily business activities which will help to reduce greasy waste, protect the environment and save you money are:

  • Wipe before washing
  • Pour used oil into containers for recycling
  • Use less cooking oil where you can
  • Collect food scraps for composting
  • Use less detergent
  • Sweep floors before washing or hosing
  • Ensure that NO OIL goes down the drain

Trade waste customers

If your business appears on the lists below, you need to apply for consent to discharge commercial trade waste.



Cafeterias / Canteens

Clubs with food preparation

Coffee and sandwich shops

Halls with food preparation


Donut shops

Ice cream parlours

Function centres

Restaurants and Cafes

Reception centres

Take-away food premises

Food production premises

Service Stations

Petrol Depots

Vehicle wash centres

Mechanical workshops

Vehicle detailers

Vehicle retailers

Panel beating / spray painting

Chemical plants




Dry Cleaners

Electro Platers

Premises with garbage wash areas

Laboratories (schools and commercial)


Livestock saleyards


Photo lab / chemical

Public swimming pools

Tanneries / wool scourers

Treated timber products

“Deemed” Trade Waste customers

Gippsland Water has a number of non-residential customers who discharge to the sewerage system and would come under the definition of “Trade Waste” but are considered too small for Gippsland Water to require a Trade Waste agreement, and do not warrant the additional level of administration and monitoring that comes with this. Clause 4.4 of the Trade Waste Code makes provision for dischargers of Trade Waste of a nature similar to domestic sewage, at Gippsland Water’s discretion, to have their agreement arise automatically through customer conduct, these types of customers are classified as “Deemed” Trade Waste customers.

Customers who, by definition in Water Law, discharge Trade Waste, but that:

  • discharge small quantities of Trade Waste to Gippsland Water’s sewer and which is of a similar nature to domestic sewage; or
  • operates a business of a type which discharges small quantities of Trade Waste to Gippsland Water’s sewer and which is of a similar nature to domestic sewage, will be considered “Deemed” Trade Waste customers.

Businesses deemed to comply

Beauticians including nail salonsFloristsFood premises where only pre-packaged food is sold.
Hairdressers and BarbersOpticiansveterinarians
Tattoo/Piercing establishmentsPet Grooming Salons/Pet washing facilitiesBoarding kennels/Catteries
Funeral ParlourDoctor’s Surgery/Clinics (providing no plaster or dental facilities)

Please note;

“Deemed” Trade Waste customers are still required to only discharge waste which is compliant with the Gippsland Water Trade Waste Quality Limits also available for view on Gippsland Water’s Web Site.

“Deemed” Trade Waste customers will not incur an annual Trade Waste Charge, other standard water and waste charges will be applied in accordance with Gippsland Water’s Notice of Tariffs.

Should any of the above business types be of a large scale or otherwise differ in nature such that the above descriptions for “Deemed” Trade Waste customers would not reasonably apply, Gippsland Water reserves the right to require such customers to apply for a Trade Waste Agreement and accept the conditions and Annual Charges generally associated with a “Commercial Trade Waste Customer”.

“Small quantities” referred to above would generally mean a waste discharge of less than 1000kl/annum.

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Gippsland Water supplies fresh clean drinking water to more than 70,000 customers, and wastewater services to more than 63,000 customers across an area of more than 5,000 square kilometres. It maintains a $1 billion infrastructure network, which includes more than 2,000 kilometres of water mains, 15 water treatment plants, over 1,700 kilometres of sewer mains and 14 wastewater treatment plants.

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55 Hazelwood Road, Traralgon, VIC, 3844

Phone: 1800 050 500

Fax: (03) 5174 0103

Interpreter service: 1313 450

TTY: 1800 555 677