New rules came into effect recently that constitute an amendment and update of the principal rules addressing industrial wastewater flowing from factories into the sewer system.

The updates provide relief and a reduction of the regulatory burden, exclude types of businesses having a marginal effect on the sewer system, eliminate irrelevant parameters from the sampling requirements and provide relief in the tariff charged in respect of excessive or banned wastewater.

Following is a condensed review of the updates:

  • Mode of charging tariffs for factories wastewater in relation to a "joint factory"

The definition of a "Joint Factory" was added, which relates to a real-estate complex in which a number of factories are operating and which either has or is attributed to a main water meter. This definition relates to complexes in which a number of businesses are operating (such as malls, shopping centers, industrial complexes, multi-purpose buildings combining offices and industries, and the like).

Provisions were also prescribed regarding the distribution of the responsibility for paying the charge for the factories' discharge of industrial wastewater, including in instances where there is no agreement in this regard between "the owner of the Joint Factory" (the owner of the complex) and other factories located in the complex (and subject to the existence or absence of attributed-separate water meters for all or a portion of the businesses in the complex).

  • Timing for a water and sewage corporation to submit a monitoring plan

In order to create uniformity, the updated rules state that the water corporation's monitoring plan (that is conducted once every two years) targeting factories for which a concern has arisen that they are discharging industrial wastewater into the sewer system that contain excessive or banned wastewater, must be conducted, to the extent possible, at the end of the calendar year in which the monitoring plan must be approved.

Another update states that in instances when disagreements about the monitoring plan arise between the corporation and the wastewater treatment plant treating the corporation's wastewater, the disagreement will be resolved by the environmental officer on behalf of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the industrial wastewater officer at the Water Authority.

  • Relief in the charge for excessive or banned wastewater

A rule was added whereby, if excessive or banned wastewater are found in a particular sampling, while in the previous sampling taken adjacent to the factory, the wastewater was at acceptable values, then the water corporation will charge the factory only for half of the period of the charge or for 45 days, whichever period is shorter, unless the factory succeeded in proving, to the water corporation's satisfaction, that the period of the charge will be shorter. The rule updates the mode of tariff charging that was in practice up until now, which was calculated for the period that elapsed since the date of the last sampling according to the monitoring plan, or a period of 90 days (whichever is shorter).

This amendment serves to regulate instances whereby the incidents of excessive or banned wastewater that were found in the factory's wastewater do not represent the usual, routine quality of the wastewater from the factory.

  • Exclusion of businesses; removal of parameters from the sampling requirements; and reliefs in the values of banned wastewater

Event halls, restaurants and malls, whose impact on the sewer system is minor (i.e., with low water consumption of less than 5 m3 per day, and laundries whose water consumption is less than 2 m3 per day), which have proved to the water corporation that they are properly handling their wastewater, will be excluded from the obligation to conduct samplings and to monitor their wastewater.

The rules also include a number of updates and reliefs and the removal of a number of parameters of contaminants from the wastewater monitoring and sampling requirements for a significant number of industrial sectors.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.