Appeal brought by Boots UK Ltd dismissed

1st February 2019

The appeal sought in Boots UK Ltd v Severn Trent Water Ltd has been dismissed.

The manufacturer sought the appeal against a judgement that the water and sewerage undertaker did not owe it alleged overpaid trade effluent charges.

The question of the appeal was whether a mixed liquid comprising surface water and effluent produced in the course of a trade or industry was 'trade effluent' within the meaning of the Water Industry Act 1991 and thus liable to charges.

Boots UK manufacturing processes gave rise to trade effluent, which was discharged into private sewers and metered to calculate trade effluent charges. Before the effluent reached the meter it was mixed with surface water that had not been discharged through designated surface water outlets. The mixture was discharged into a public foul water sewer. Severn Trent Water charged for trade effluent to the mixed liquid passing through the meter and charged for surface water drainage by rateable value or area.

Boots UK argued it should only be charged for the trade effluent, not the mixed liquid containing surface water, and sought reimbursement. Severn Trent Water argued that the entirety of the mixed liquid was a trade effluent within the meaning of the Water Industry Act 1991. The original judge agreed.

At appeal, the judge concluded he agreed with the original judge that the mixed liquid of surface water and trade effluent was still a trade effluent within the meaning of the Water Industry Act 1991, and Boots UK was liable to charges.

He commented: “It seems to me that there is an entirely rational purpose for treating a mixed liquid as falling with the definition of trade effluent. The mixture of trade effluent and surface water is still contaminated water, and will need to be treated in a different way from surface water“.

The appeal was dismissed.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Transform articles

Water companies fail to hit environmental targets

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.

2nd July 2021

Read more

The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.

1st July 2021

Read more

Renewable energy will account for nearly 40% of the world's power mix by the end of this decade, overtaking coal within the next few years, according to research by GlobalData.

24th June 2021

Read more

The UK's solar energy capacity must treble over the next decade for the country to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but is only set to double under a business-as-usual scenario.

18th June 2021

Read more

The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has today been launched to support financial institutions and corporates in assessing and managing emerging risks and opportunities as the world looks to reverse biodiversity loss.

4th June 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert