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Liquid Trade Waste

Liquid trade waste

Trade waste application forms 

Anyone discharging liquid trade waste must receive an approval to discharge from Icon Water. To receive this, please complete the online application form most relevant to your business. All applications must be completed in full with all supporting documentation attached. Our application guide and minimum requirements flyer has additional information to support you to submit your application.


You need to apply for an approval to discharge if the conditions for multi-tenancies and variations do not apply to you.


You need to submit a multi-tenancy application form if you own, or manage, a property intended to host multiple tenants (such as a shopping complex). 

Please note: You must contact us directly if your property is intended to host more than twenty (20) tenants. You can contact us by:   


You need to apply for a variation to discharge if you have an existing approval to discharge and meet one of the following conditions:   

  • A new tenant is occupying your property.
  • The type of business occupying your property has changed, for example: 
    • Changing your business from a restaurant to a hair salon. 
    • Serving hot food at a café that has only ever served cold food. 


What is Liquid Trade Waste?

Any liquid waste discharged to sewer that is not classified as domestic sewage. Liquid Trade Waste is not produced in the course of daily residential living. 

Some examples of activities generating liquid trade waste are listed below;

Industrial and Manufacturing processes (e.g. cement, glass, paint, pharmaceuticals) Trade services (e.g. mechanics, mobile carpet cleaners)
Commercial businesses (e.g. beautician, florist, hairdresser, hotel/motel, restaurant, brewery, butcher, service station, supermarket, dentist) Saleyards, racecourses, stables, kennels, vet clinics
Community services (e.g. hobby clubs, schools, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, fire stations) Nightsoil (e.g. septic, chemical toilet waste, pan content from mobile homes/caravans, ship-to-shore pump outs)

What do I need to do?

You are required by law to have Icon Water approval before discharging Liquid Trade Waste to sewer. In order to gain approval please submit a completed Application form with relevant drainage plans to Icon Water.

Note: There are currently no fees payable to submit an Application and receive Approval for Liquid Trade Waste.

In order to comply with Icon Water’s Liquid Trade Waste Acceptance Policy and Guidelines you need to;

  • Identify your business activities and understand the type and volume of waste generated from each activity that drains to the sewerage network.
  • Review the relevant Icon Water Liquid Trade Waste Acceptance Guidelines to understand the controls required for your liquid trade waste.
  • Submit a completed Application Form with relevant drainage plans to Icon Water for assessment.
  • Receive your Approval from Icon Water BEFORE discharging to sewer and ensure all requirements continue to me be met over time.

How do I submit an application?

  1. Fill in the Online Application and attach all required information (See application guide and minimum requirements) 
  2. Obtain a current (or proposed) drainage plan* that clearly identifies all points that discharge to sewer and all locations and connections of any pre-treatment devices. 
  3. Complete the Application form, making sure all sections are answered and the form is signed by the Property Owner (or authorised representative) and the Property Occupier. 

*You may be able to obtain a copy of your building drainage plan from Access Canberra (Mitchell Shopfront - (02 6207 1923), otherwise a plumber or hydraulic consultant may be able to assist.

How will I know if my application is approved?

You will know your application is received when Icon Water send an Approval document signed by a Trade Waste Officer to the person/people nominated in the application. The Approval will contain the conditions under which the approval is valid.  

How will I know my application is received by Icon Water?

After submitting your application you will receive an automated acknowledgement of your application, with an application number. The time to assess an application will vary depending on the complexity of the site or business. The standard turnaround time for a low or medium risk application is four weeks or 20 business days. It is important that you provide correct email addresses in our on line form for all parties who need a copy of the final approval. 

Note: Icon Water will not issue copies of the Approval to any other parties except those nominated on the Application form.

What happens if I don't have approval?

All liquid trade waste must, by law, be approved by Icon Water before discharge. Every property owner and/or business must gain approval prior to allowing liquid trade waste discharge to sewer.

In the ACT, the Utilities (Technical Regulation) Act 2014 stipulates that it is an offence to interfere with, or likely interfere with, the safe or efficient operation of the sewerage network, facility or the environment.

Discharges entering a sewer that are in breach of the Icon Water’s Liquid Trade Waste Acceptance Policy and Guidelines will probably constitute a breach of the Act and may lead to prosecution of the person discharging the waste, or allowing the waste to be discharged. Significant fines, imprisonment or both may result.

Existing Businesses with No Liquid Trade Waste Approval

If you believe you do not have a current Approval for your business, please contact Icon Water to discuss a plan to become compliant with the current Icon Water Liquid Trade Waste Acceptance Policy and Guidelines.

How can I get in contact with the Liquid Trade Waste team?

You can contact the team via email or over the phone as follows:


Phone: (02) 6248 3222

Are there experts that can help me?

If you feel you need expert assistance with your trade waste application, you can consider whether hiring a Hydraulic Consultant is right for you.

Liquid Trade Waste legal requirements

Icon Water has a legal requirement to manage discharge of Liquid Trade Waste to protect public health, safety of personnel, the environment and Icon Water's sewerage infrastructure and operational processes.

Icon Water's Liquid Trade Waste Acceptance Policy and Guidelines help achieve this by defining which liquid trade waste can be safely discharged into the sewerage network.

As such, our customers have a legal obligation to ensure they comply with Icon Water’s Liquid Trade Waste Acceptance Policy and Guidelines.