Trade waste

Photo shows stormwater grate on roadside with picture of fish and words: Dump no waste. Drains to river.

There are restrictions on what kind of trade waste can go into the wastewater system. If you're a business producing trade waste, you will need to apply to Council for consent.

Water restrictions for Palmy could be just days away from coming into effect without major conservation efforts by our community.

A hot summer, teamed with not much rain, means our Turitea Dam level is dropping fast. The dam supplies two thirds of the city’s water, with the rest coming from bores around the city. While we’ve avoided water restrictions over the past four years, this year it is a matter of when, not if, we need to go into mandatory water restrictions. That's because for the first time in 8 years, the country is experiencing an El Niño weather pattern. For Palmy, an El Niño means we’re having more westerly winds, far less rain than usual, a drop in soil moisture and higher temperatures than previous summers. This means we’re all using similar amounts of water to other years, but the rain isn’t topping up the dam.

Our ‘Summer Water Use initiative’ began four years ago to encourage Palmy residents to voluntarily act as though they’re already in water restrictions, and to only use water outside between 7-9pm, every second day. The day you choose should be based on the number on your letterbox - even houses water on even days, and odd houses on odd days.

Summer Water Use has worked well over previous years, but an El Niño means we’re not expecting any decent heavy rain until Autumn. As a result, we will need to look at implementing water restrictions in our city. While at this stage they appear to be inevitable, we’d like to delay the need for them as much as we can.

The initial stage of water restrictions are the same rules as Summer Water Use - but mandatory. Many towns and cities, including those around us, are already in restrictions but our community’s efforts with our Summer Water Use initiative means we’ve been able to ward them off, for now. Our city is extremely fortunate compared to many others around the country. We have planned well and have a range of water sources available. It’s important we all take a good look at our water use and see what we can do to conserve water this summer.

Trade waste is the liquid waste businesses discharge into the wastewater system. Trade waste can contain substances which are detrimental to the sewage system, treatment plant processes and the environment, and to the health and safety of people working in wastewater plants.

Applying for trade waste consent

If your business discharges wastewater into the sewer, you may need to apply for trade waste consent. The application process is straightforward, and here are the steps to guide you through it.

Step 1.Determine the appropriate application

We have three categories of trade waste consent.

Step 3.Send your application to our trade waste department

  • Postal address: Trade Waste Compliance Officer | Private Bag 11034 | Palmerston North 4442
  • Email address:

Consent to discharge tankered waste

If you business plans to discharge tankered waste at Palmerston North City Council's wastewater treatment plant, you will need to apply for a consent.

Download the application form(PDF, 168KB)

Why we manage trade waste discharge

  • to protect the health and safety of all people working in the wastewater system
  • to protect waterways from harmful and toxic substances
  • to encourage waste minimisation, water conservation and cleaner production
  • to help meet national regulations and standards

Affected businesses

  • food, chemical and industrial manufacturers
  • laundries and drycleaners
  • dentists
  • food premises
  • GP surgeries, medical and veterinary centres
  • hospitals, nursing homes and rest homes
  • liquid waste contractors
  • printers
  • mechanical workshops

Grease trap consents

Grease buildup is a major contributor to the reduction in the capacity of the city's sewers and can cause blockages in the network. Grease and oils are also extremely difficult to process at the treatment plant. This is why fats, grease and oil must be prevented from entering the wastewater system.

New Zealand Building Code requirements

  • Grease traps will be provided in non-residential buildings where wastewater is likely to contain grease
  • All food premises that prepare food for sale will have a suitable grease trap for the volume of waste discharged and hold a grease trap consent that is renewed annually.

For more information about grease trap design and consents, contact us on 06 356 8199.

Code-compliant operators

These businesses are certified as fully compliant liquid and hazardous waste contractors:

  • Active Tank Cleaning Ltd
  • Environment First Ltd
  • Gecko Ltd
  • Pedley Slurry Services Ltd
  • Pump It Manawatū Ltd

Trade Waste Bylaw

The Local Government Act empowers councils to make a Trade Waste Bylaw. Palmerston North City Council has a Trade Waste Bylaw which sets out the conditions under which the council accepts discharge of trade waste into the wastewater system.