Discharge Licences

Discharge Licences

Depending on your circumstances, you may require an effluent discharge licence for the discharge of effluent to sewers and waters.

When is an effluent discharge licence required?

An effluent discharge licence is required if:

  • There are discharges of effluent to surface waters, whether domestic, commercial or industrial.
  • All commercial/industrial discharges to groundwaters (including via a percolation area) and domestic effluent discharges that are greater than 5m3/day.
  • There are non-domestic discharges of effluent to public sewers.

Are there exemptions to the licence?

A licence is not required for domestic sewage which does not exceed a volume of 5m3 in any period of 24 hours which is discharged to an aquifer from a septic tank or disposal unit by means of a percolation area or other method.

A licence is also not required for the discharge of domestic sewage to sewers. Large industrial or agricultural activities require an Integrated Pollution Control Licence from the Environmental Protection Agency. Details of the classes of activities which require an Integrated Pollution Control Licence are available at the EPA website.

Who currently holds a licence?

The following two documents provide the details of current and invalid effluent discharge licences.

How do I apply for an effluent discharge licence?

Application forms and guidance notes for discharge to surface waters and discharge to groundwater can be downloaded below. To apply for the licence, please go through the following steps.

Step 1

If your effluent is non-domestic and is going to be discharged to public sewers, please go to www.water.ie

Step 2

It is essential to read or refer to these guidance documents prior to filling out the application form:

Discharge to Ground Water - Guidance Document for Section 4 Licence. (PDF 1.4 MB)

If the effluent is domestic, commercial or industrial and is going to be discharged to surface waters, please download and print the following document:

Surface Waters - Discharge Licence Application Form (Word 41.5 KB)

If the effluent is commercial, industrial or a domestic discharge of more than 5m3 per day to groundwater (including via a percolation area), please use the following document:

Groundwater - Discharge Licence Application Form (PDF, 799.3 KB)

Step 3

You need to publish a notice in a newspaper circulating in the functional area of Cavan County Council. This notice is of your intention to make such a Section 4 discharge licence application.

To find out what a notice needs to include, please refer to Section 3 of the relevant guidance notes.

The licence application must be submitted to Cavan County Council within 2 weeks of the date of the publication of the newspaper notice.

Step 4

Complete the form and send one signed original and 3 hard copies it to the following address along with all supporting documentation

Discharge Licensing,

Environment Section,

Cavan County Council,

17 Farnham Street


Co. Cavan

Licence Review

Cavan County Council can review existing discharge licences. The licensee can also request a review. Cavan County Council advises that you contact the Environment Section prior to seeking this review.

How do I apply for an effluent discharge licence review?

The Discharge Licence Review Application Forms are available below. Please read the guidance documents for new applications prior to filling in a review application form as the information provided is beneficial to the application process. 

Surface Waters - Discharge Licence Review Application Form (PDF, 812.8 KB)

Groundwater - Discharge Licence Review Application Form (PDF, 825 KB)

If you have any further questions or queries regarding discharge licences, please get in touch using the following details.

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