Compressed Air Condensate & Hazardous Waste Advice

In July 2005, the Hazardous Waste regulations were introduced which, in turn, revoked the Special Waste regulations. If you own a compressed air system, this update will affect you regarding the proper disposal of condensate due to oil contamination and other potentially harmful substances.

What Happens If I Don’t Dispose of Compressed Air Waste Properly?

Intentionally discharging toxic waste to the surface or ground water is illegal, according to the UK Water Resources Act. Performing this act will lead to a substantial fine in a crown court, depending on the impact on the environment.

Can I Put Treated Condensate Down the Foul Sewer If I Use an Oil-Water Separator?

If the oil content is within the local water authority’s specified limit for oil or any other harmful substance, then you can dispose of it down the foul sewer. Always make sure that you comply with your regional authority limit and receive a ‘consent to discharge’ before you proceed with the disposal.

You need evidence that the discharge is below limits, even if you are using biodegradable oils. Local water authorities sometimes charge a fee for testing, but you can use other service providers which can be found at

If I Use an Oil-Water Separator, How Do I Dispose of the Oil Content?

A registered ‘Hazardous Waste Producer’ or ‘Licensed Waste Carrier’ company will dispose of your bulk oil content.

How Will I Know If This Company Complies with the Hazardous Waste Regulations?

Make sure they have the correct procedures in place and check their waste carrier’s licence and date. Also, to ensure legal disposal of your waste oil, ask for an audit trail of your waste oil for proof that has been disposed of properly.

For more information, visit the Environment Agency’s website:

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