What is trade waste?

All liquid waste generated by industry, small business and commercial enterprise is referred to as trade waste.

Trade waste excludes domestic wastewater such as toilets, showers, hand basins and other domestic fixtures. In some instances, trade waste may contain toxic or harmful substances, such as acids, petroleum, oil, heavy metals, solids, organic solvents or chlorinated organics.

What impact can trade waste have on the environment?

Uncontrolled or illegal discharge of trade waste may cause serious problems in the sewerage system such as overflows and overloading, blockages, corrosion, hazardous work environments and failure of the sewage purification process.

Trade Waste Permit

If you own a business which generates trade waste, you are required under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 to apply to Unitywater for a permit.

Need a quick guide to trade waste?


Watch our video:

Follow these steps for your business:

2. Apply for a Trade Waste Permit 

A Trade Waste Permit is required for:

  • Businesses that wash or clean any utensil or equipment and discharge the wastewater into the sewerage network. These businesses are required to install grease traps as part of their Trade Waste Agreement with Unitywater.
  • Businesses that produce non-domestic liquid waste containing chemicals or residue from a commercial or industrial process. These businesses are required to install pre-treatment devices as part of their Trade Waste Agreement with Unitywater.

 Apply for a trade waste permit (PDF 229KB)

To apply for a Trade Waste Permit, please complete the form on the left and return it to Unitywater.

Prior to submitting a plumbing application (to council) that incorporates trade waste, you are required to submit your permit application to our Trade Waste team along with:

  1. A hydraulic plan detailing fixtures, and the pre-treatment device/s and manufacture details.
  2. Plan assessment application (PDF 83KB). Plan assessments are undertaken to ensure what is proposed on the hydraulic plans will not have any harmful effects on the sewer network. The hydraulic plans show the proposed fixture rating and pre-treatment devices to be installed. The applicant will be notified in writing whether the proposal is satisfactory and a Letter of Approval will be supplied which will be required by the relevant Council as part of the plumbing assessment. This application requires payment of plan assessment fee.

Unitywater has three types of Trade Waste Discharge Permits (high risk, medium risk and low risk). They are categorised by the level of risk associated with the waste. Upon application, we will assess your level of risk and will assign the relevant Trade Waste Discharge Permit classification. Please refer to the risk assessment on page 15 of the Trade Waste Management Plan (PDF 596KB).

Update address or contact details

If there have been changes to your business and you need to update your Trade Waste Permit details, such as changing the mailing address or updating contact details, please submit the form on the left, completing only your Account Name and any relevant changes. 


To update your permit due to sale of business or change of ownership:

  • The old owner is required to complete and submit the following form:

Cancellation of Trade Waste Permit

  • The new owner is required to complete and submit the form on the left, after which they will be sent an account for the annual permit fee.

Please complete the following form and submit it to Unitywater to ensure future trade waste fees are not applied:

Cancellation of Trade Waste Permit

Please note: There are no refunds or part refunds on any permit issued, and permits are not transferable.


Did you know?

We have more than 3,500 trade waste customers including food outlets and shopping centres, education facilities, hospitals and medical centres and industrial and chemical manufacturers.