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A Possible Water Drainage Problem?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 24 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
Water Drainage Commercial Premises Water


My husband is looking for premises to open a barber shop. He has found an ideal location and a good sized unit (previously a large shop which the owner has renovated and split into individual shops/ market style units.

The owner has stated that there is no plumbing in the shop (communal toilets are present) and that it would be possible to fit a sink unit but the water would have to drain into some sort of storage tank to be emptied manually! How would this stand legally?

(Mrs Philomena Denk, 12 September 2008)


This is a somewhat more complicated question that it might seem at first but here goes...

Firstly you are going to generate a significant volume of waste water on a daily basis. If you're frugal and use say 2 litres of water to wash each customer's hair and you do say 15 wash cuts per day, then you will generate 30 litres of waste water per day. That will weigh 30 kg. So you now have to manually handle 30kg of dirty waste water per day which may well be OK in the start up phase - but after a while I think this may well become a major daily chore.

I am not 100% sure of the legal implications of this though as you are generating contaminated water that you will need to dispose of. You could discuss this with the owner of the building to see if he will allow you to dump this in the communal toilets - this may be your only real option.

I am not a lawyer but at a guess if you can make this work practically there are probably no major legal implications.

What you should do is make sure that you have an agreement covering the disposal of the waste water and sign up for a trial period of several months under a licence rather than taking a lease that you are tied to. Once you are established, and you get fed up with manually handling waste water, you may find that you want to move to other premises that are more suitable.

Whatever you do though - Good Luck!

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