Trade waste

What are the charges?

Why does Council charge for trade waste?

Council provides a wastewater system primarily for the transport and treatment of domestic sewage. Trade waste discharged by businesses may contain significantly increased pollutants which can harm people, the environment and the wastewater system. Council controls the discharge of trade waste to minimise these risks. Activities include:

  • treatment of trade waste discharge
  • transportation of trade waste discharge
  • maintenance of the sewerage network
  • undertaking detailed assessment of all trade waste generators
  • ensuring suitable pre-treatment devices are installed and regularly serviced
  • conducting site inspections and audits to ensure compliance is maintained
  • providing advice, education and awareness to trade waste generators

Who is responsible for paying trade waste charges?

The property owner has sole responsibility for the payment of all trade waste related charges. The property owner may recover charges from their tenants under normal commercial arrangements. This arrangement is not determined by, or negotiated with Council. All charges will be due by the nominated date and billed bi-annually on the property owner’s rates notice.

If the property owner is experiencing financial difficulty, payment options may be available in accordance with Council’s Hardship Policy.

Do charges apply for vacant tenancies?

Yes. Charges apply, irrespective of whether or not the premises are occupied or vacant.  Depending on how long the premises is vacant, charges may be reduced in some circumstances.

But I no longer have a tenant discharging trade waste. Can the charges be removed?

The charge may be removed if confirmation is provided showing that there is no longer any intention of the property being used for a trade waste generating business. A physical disconnection may be required, preventing the discharge of trade waste to the wastewater system. This may include the removal of a plumbing fit-out within the tenancy or a connected pre-treatment device bypassed, or made inoperable.

The property owner must apply to Council’s plumbing compliance team prior to undertaking such works. Property owners should discuss the planned actions with Council's Plumbing Source & Control Officer prior to implementation in order to confirm the measures will meet Council’s requirements.

Please note:

  • Charges will continue to apply until the disconnection has been approved by Council and the work completed.
  • Future re-connection of the premises will require the property owner to submit a new plumbing application, as well as payment of applicable fees.

What are trade waste charges?

Trade waste fees and charges are levied under Sections 94 and 97 of the Local Government Act 2009. Council will determine fees and charges for trade waste as part of the annual Council review of regulated fees and charges.

An annual charge (base charge), which is determined by the category that has been applied to the generator or property, is applied for each trade waste connection on the property and will be applied to the property owner’s rates notice and billed bi-annually. 

Base Charges

Category Descriptions



Category 1

Minor discharge with no pre-treatment or monitoring required


Category 2

Compliant with pre-treatment not required.  Annual discharge generally less 150kL


Category 3

Low Strength/Risk discharge with pre-treatment or pre-treatment not required.  Annual discharge generally greater than 150kL but less than 500kL


Category 4

Medium Strength/Risk discharge with pre-treatment required and/or annual discharge generally greater than 500kL

Tier A, B, or C

Category 5

High Strength/risk discharge with pre-treatment required and or/annual discharge generally greater than 500kL

Tier A, B or C


For generators in categories 4 and 5, a tier charge (A, B, or C) may be applied in addition to the base charge. This is calculated on potential or estimated load on the sewerage network.  A multiple tier charge may be applied to more accurately reflect the load.

General fees and charges for the current financial year can be found here. Specific fees for each category can be found in Council's Corporate Budget here

Do you pro rata trade waste charges?

Yes. For new connections, charges will be applicable on a pro rata basis for the first billing period. Thereafter, they will be invoiced within the normal billing cycles for the relevant charge components.

Does Council issue refunds for trade waste?

No. Refunds will not be given in respect of any charges when a generator ceases to discharge part way through the billing period. A reassessment can be made at the request of the property owner and the charge may be reduced accordingly for future billing periods, until such time as the tenancy is occupied.

Are there any other trade waste charges which might apply?

There are other charges which may apply in certain circumstances, however, in most cases only the base charges/tier charge will apply.  These are:

Equivalent arrestor charge
Where a pre-treatment device is required by Council to be installed, but cannot be installed due to site specific constraints, charges will apply to cover Council’s additional treatment costs.
Where a pre-treatment device is required by Council to be installed, and the property owner and/or trade waste generator do not install the required pre-treatment device within the specified time frame, charges will apply to cover Council’s additional treatment costs.
The equivalent arrestor charge will be set annually and be based on the average cost paid by other trade waste generators of similar waste type and quantity, to have arrestors regularly cleaned. This will be charged in addition to other applicable trade waste charges.

Non compliance charge
Council may recover the cost of repairing damage to the sewerage system from a person discharging non-compliant trade waste or a prohibited substance to the sewerage system.
Additional inspection and sample analysis fees may be charged where further inspection or analysis is required due to non-compliance with approval conditions or if sewer admission limits have been exceeded.

Exceedance charge
This charge may be applied where a generator discharges to sewer in excess of the sewer admission limits, regardless of whether Council has agreed to accept the over-limit discharge as part of the approval or not.

Inspection and analysis fee
Trade waste charges in all discharge categories allow for routine inspections and quality compliance analyses. Where additional inspections and laboratory analyses are required because of non-compliance with trade waste approval conditions, full costs will be recovered from the owner of the property.  Inspection fees will be based on travel time to and from the site plus the time spent on site.

I am already paying to have my grease trap or other pre-treatment device cleaned out and serviced. Why do I also have to pay trade waste charges?

Council can only accept waste water into the sewerage system which meets strict Sewer Admission Limits. The installation of a pre-treatment device is required to ensure that the trade waste water being discharged to sewer does not exceed these limits. Even when the waste water has passed through the pre-treatment device, Council is still required to transport the discharge to the sewerage treatment plant where it will be treated.

It is the responsibility of the property owner and trade waste generator to ensure that the pre-treatment device is regularly serviced and maintained to ensure that it is working effectively.