Can I Discharge Water From My Site Without A Permit?

When working on a construction site, certain activities will require permits from the Environment Agency. The UK government has published various regulatory position statements, or RPSs, which clarify a specific set of conditions which need to be met in order to waive the need for a permit for certain activities.

Temporary Dewatering RPS

There are two regulatory position statements which relate to the discharge of water from a construction site, and today we'll take a look at the RPS which relates to temporary dewatering from excavations to surface water.

This RPS sets out the conditions which must be met in order to dewater a site without requiring a bespoke permit. This is only the case in scenarios where water discharge is short term - lasting less than three months - and either wholly or mainly made up of uncontaminated rainwater.

What Are The Conditions Of The RPS?

The conditions of the RPS that must be met in order to discharge water from a site without a permit are listed in full here. If any of these conditions are not met, it is necessary to apply for a permit before commencing dewatering of a particular site.

Generally speaking, the RPS requires that the discharge must be clean water, for example, rainwater. The dewatering process must not last longer than 3 months, and must not result in silty water contaminating surface water.

The RPS also contains restrictions ensuring that discharge does not pollute surface water or contain any chemical dosing agents, flocculants, or coagulants. In addition, sites which have been found to be contaminated by oil, metals, and other polluting substances will always require a permit. The RPS contains further conditions to ensure that water discharge does not result in the spread of non-native invasive species or cause flooding, erosion, or other damage elsewhere.

The list of requirements is stringent, but necessarily so in order to protect local surroundings from the potential damage and harm that can be caused by irresponsible water discharge.

Get In Touch

At Atlantic Pumps, we're dedicated to helping construction teams across the UK to work ethically and sustainably, which is why we have created the EnviroHub system, which is used to monitor, treat, and report on water quality onsite. Call us today for advice about legal, safe dewatering and water discharge.


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