Handling Waste Water

Trade Effluent

Trade effluent is defined as dirty water or run-off from vehicle washing and cleaning carried out as a business or industrial activity.

Whether you’re cleaning just one vehicle or responsible for a large lorry fleet, you must arrange for collection and disposal of effluent to prevent pollution. It’s illegal to discharge trade effluent to the environment or into drains without permission. The Environment Agency publishes guides on best practices that should apply to a number of industries. Their guidance on how to wash a car responsibly is called Pollution Prevention Guideline 13 (PPG13 for short). A copy of this Guideline can be downloaded from the Environment Agency website at:

One of the core aims of the Car Wash Advisory Service (CWAS) is to raise awareness of the environmental impact caused by ‘unregulated’ vehicle washing with the consumer.

Waste water management diagram

Enlarge: Waste water management diagram

Handling Waste Water