Wastewater penalties

Bohle has warned that glass processors run the risk of major fines by failing to stay on top of legislation governing the disposal of wastewater.

Water and coolant used in glass processing are defined as trade effluent. As such IGU manufacturers and glass processors must get prior consent from water companies under Section 118 [5] of the Water Industry Act, to discharge water used in the manufacturing process into the sewer system.

Companies who get caught discharging trade effluent without approval face heavy fines under the act, something which is already happening across the country, according to Dave Broxton, managing director of Bohle.

“Everyone has been very busy keeping up with demand and that can mean things slip,” he said. “Wastewater compliance is something that you really can’t afford to let that happen to because if you do, you face some very hefty penalties.

“If you haven’t got them already, it really is time to check your approvals and apply for a discharge license.”

Under the Water Industry Act the financial penalties imposed by Ofwat for the failure to comply with rules governing trade effluent can run as high as 10% of a company’s turnover.

“It’s an unnecessary risk, especially when government and local authority funding is available to help companies manage their waste-water more effectively,” Dave said.

This includes a significant tax break this year as part of the Government’s Covid response: the Super-Deduction scheme allows companies to claim a deduction in their tax bill if they invest in new plant and machinery with a capital allowance of 130% on qualifying equipment.

In real terms, this means that as a glass processor if you committed to spend £100,000 on machinery, you can deduct £130,000 from your taxable profits.

“You can use it for other things as well but I’d argue that investing in say a new sedimentor to help you lower your operating costs and manage your waste water more effectively for the long term is a very good use of the scheme,” Dave said.

Suitable for a wide assortment of grinding, drilling and sawing glass equipment, Bohle sedimentors use an automated, multi-stage process to remove contaminants from coolants and water. This includes filtering of glass particles of <5 µm or less while using less energy.

Combined with improved product quality and increased tool life, as well as trimming around 10% off the costs of water disposal, it suggests sedimentors will pay back against purchase costs in as little as a year.