If your business discharges trade waste, you need to apply for a trade waste consent. Learn which application is right for your business and how to apply here.


If your business undertakes industrial or manufacturing processes which produce wastewater, other than wastewater from amenities, you need to apply for an industrial trade waste consent.

Examples include:

  • Meat processing plants
  • Laundries
  • Food manufacturers
  • Breweries
  • Mechanical workshops
  • Metal finishing
  • Hospitals and other institutions
  • Car washes
  • Chemical plants

Only trade waste that complies with certain physical and chemical characteristics is permitted to be discharged into our sewerage system. Read our statement of approved acceptance criteria to find out more about the criteria for trade waste that we will accept. This criteria is applicable to Melbourne Water's Eastern and Western treatment plants. Any proposed discharge into our sewer network and water recycling plants may be subject to site-specific criteria.

How to apply

Applying for an industrial trade waste consent involves submitting the below application form and any relevant information to us. We will provide a response to all applications within 10 business days.

Further information for higher risk sites

Industrial trade waste may contain hazardous contaminants and there may be high volumes of it. If you are operating a higher risk site, you will be required to install a flow meter to measure the volume of trade waste discharged. Refer to our electromagnetic flow meter suppliers list and requirements below.

If all reasonable steps have been taken to comply with the statement of approved acceptance criteria, a variation (C-SAC: Customer specific acceptance criteria) to consent may be issued in circumstances where a customer is unable to comply with its limits. The customer is required to submit a detailed letter applying for a variation, specifying the actual limits required determined through a sampling program, as well as how the limits were derived and what has been done to try and reduce the discharge level.

Important documents


If your business prepares or cooks food, cleans dishes or washes up in the kitchen, you’re classified as a commercial customer and you need a commercial trade waste consent.

Examples include:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Cafes
  • Bakeries
  • Take away food outlets
  • Ice-cream shops
  • Butchers and delicatessens
  • Function centres
  • Juice bars
  • Childcare centres
  • Canteens
How to apply

Applying for a commercial trade waste consent involves submitting the below application form and any relevant information to us. We will provide a response to all applications within 10 business days.


Your business must have an appropriately sized food and oil interceptor (FOI) (also known as a grease trap) installed. This must be pumped out by a licenced waste transporter. We will use the information in your application to establish the required size FOI and pump-out frequency for your business. Learn more about sizing, installing and maintaining FOI's for your business here.

Important documents


Occasionally, circumstances may require a temporary / one-off trade waste discharge consent which is issued to a customer for a limited period of time.

Examples include:

  • Construction works
  • Emergency situations
  • Dewatering of commercial swimming pools or spas

During the building construction phase, you may be required to dispose of stormwater or groundwater (trade waste). Limited volumes of stormwater or groundwater may be accepted as a trade waste discharge into the sewerage system via appropriate pre-treatment measures and controls.

This acceptance is subject to the submission of a trade waste application and technical appraisal conducted by South East Water.
We only accept this type of trade waste disposal during a project’s construction phase – we will not accept ongoing discharge to sewer after construction is completed.

How to apply

Read the groundwater policy below, then apply for the relevant one-off discharge consent.

Tankered waste

Tankered waste consents allows EPA licenced waste transporters to tanker waste from septic tanks to specified sewage disposal points.

You can apply for tankered waste below


Businesses that discharge trade waste to our sewer, in only small quantities and of a similar nature to domestic sewage, may be considered as minor trade waste.

Examples include:

  • Businesses that sell shelf stable pre-packaged confectionary that have a ‘Class 4’ food licence under the Food Act 1984
  • Bottle Shops
  • Hairdressers/beauticians
  • Pharmacies with a dispensing sink only.

The minor trade waste listing schedule and the policy for food/commercial businesses outline the businesses that have been classified by us as minor trade waste

Minor trade waste customers can discharge to the sewerage system without applying for trade waste consent. Trade waste charges do not apply to minor trade waste customers.

This permission may be subject to the installation of pre-treatment systems and other requirements where needed. Installations of pre-treatment equipment are the responsibility of the customer.

Important documents
View trade waste prices and charges

Trade waste charges cover the cost of transporting, monitoring, treating and administering liquid waste generated by commercial and industrial businesses.

Food and oil interceptors

Learn more about installing and managing food and oil interceptors for your business.

Plumbers' Standard Drawings and Guidelines

Minimum requirements for commercial and industrial trade waste treatment equipment available for download.


Portal for waste transporters to record customer food and oil interceptor pump-outs.

Get in touch with our trade waste team

We're here to  help

Call us
03 9552 3662

8 am - 4 pm, Monday - Friday