EU Exit Q&As - Water regulation

Questions and answers related to water regulation following EU Exit.

Will anything change in the way discharges to water are regulated?

No: NIEA continues to regulate discharges of waste waters (both public and private) into waterways and this is not changing because of Brexit.

How will you ensure waste water treatment continues to meet environmental standards?

NIEA is working closely with NI Water to ensure the continued treatment of wastewater and has in place contingency plans in the unlikely event of an interruption to supply of chemicals during transition. Wastewater discharges will continue to be tested for compliance with the regulatory standards.

My house or business is not connected to the mains sewer, is there anything I should do?

If you operate a private wastewater treatment works for your household or business, which incorporates chemical dosing, you should liaise with your supplier to ensure you have an adequate stockpile of any chemicals or spare parts required in the unlikely event there be any interruption to supply during the transition phase.  You need to ensure your treatment system continues to comply with the consent conditions, both during and after transition.

If your house has a septic tank, you don’t need to take any further action.

Will compliance with consents continue to be monitored?

The regulatory obligations of consent holders are not changed by EU-Exit and operators should be aware of the continued need to ensure compliance with any consent conditions. In the event of non-compliance, NIEA will undertake appropriate investigations and, if required, consider enforcement action.

NIEA will continue to monitor consent compliance though a programme of sampling and surveillance.

What do I do if I see or suspect pollution in my local waterway?

Anyone who is concerned about pollution of a waterway should contact the Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.


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