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Commercial: Management of Wastewater and Abstractions


In this section you will find information on industrial discharge licencing and the requirements to register water abstractions.  

Section 16 Licence to Discharge to Sewer

On 1st January 2014 the Water Services (No.2) Act 2013 was enacted.

Irish Water is now responsible for Water Services, including the issuing of licences under Section 16 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts 1977 to 2007.

A licence is required from Irish Water for any trade effluent or other matter (other than domestic sewage or storm water) discharged to a sewer controlled by Irish Water.

For further information and to request an application form for a Discharge to Sewer Licence, please refer to Irish Water or click on the following link which will bring you to their website

Section 4 Licence to Discharge to Waters

Any person who intends to discharge domestic waste water or trade effluent to groundwater must attain permission to do so from either the Local Authority (Environmnent Section) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before the discharge is commenced.

Where the discharge is licensable by the Local Authority, this Application Form is to be completed and submitted to the Local Authority.

The Applicant is requested to read the “Guidance on Applying for a Discharge Licence - Groundwaters” before completing the licence application form.

If you have any queries regarding an Application for a Section 4 Discharge Licence please contact the Environment Section on 045-980588 and ask to speak to staff dealing with Discharge Licencing. Section 4 form and guidance is available in the forms section


The Water Pollution Act and Registering an Abstraction.

Does it apply to me?

If water is abstracted for any purpose (including irrigation) from a groundwater source or from a watercourse or stream then the following may be relevant to you.

In July 2018, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, published the European Union (Water Policy) (Abstractions Registration) Regulations 2018.  S.I. No. 261/2018 

Under these Regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a register of water abstractions.  People who abstract 25 cubic meters (25,000 litres) of water or more per day are required to register their water abstraction with the EPA. 

Further details can be found on the EPA website on the following link:  or by emailing:

But what about the requirement to register an abstraction under the Water Pollution Act? 

Abstractions which exceed 25m3 in any period of 24 hours are still required to be registered as per the Local Government (Water Pollution) Regulations, 1978 (S.I. 108/1978).  This is with the Local Authority.

Should you have an abstraction from "waters"* greater than 25m3 in any period of 24 hours then this legislation applies.  Please note that abstractions for irrigation purposes are also required to be registered.  

Please contact the Environment Section of Kildare County Council on 045-980588 if you have any queries or require further information. 

*”waters” includes any part of a river, stream, lake, canal, reservoir, aquifer, pond, watercourse or other inland waters, whether natural or artificial. It does not include a sewer.