How to safely dispose of surplus stock for licensed premises

If you’re a licensed premise such as a pub, restaurant or club, you’ll be keen to reopen as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow. We understand you’ll have lots to consider, including restocking your casks and kegs.

As a result of closing, you probably have some unused stock that can no longer be sold and you need to dispose of. As pouring beer and cider into the sewer isn’t usually permitted (Water Industry Act 1991), wholesalers are working to help you and change their approach during these unusual times.

First, you need to know who your wholesaler is (this is the local water company that supplies your water). If you aren’t sure, you can find out here. You’ll then be able to see how your wholesaler can help.

Anglian Water

Anglian Water is allowing the discharge of these liquids into their network if the conditions in the our approach section are met. For more information, you can contact Anglian Water by emailing

Northumbian Water

If your wholesaler is Northumbrian Water, please email with the following information:

  • SPID (if known)
  • Pub name
  • Full address and postcode
  • Contact name, phone number and email address
  • Volume of alcohol (gallons, litres or cubic metres)

Scottish Water

You’ll need to let Scottish Water know that you want to temporarily discharge into the sewer system. You can use their application forms if you’re a single site or have multiple sites, and will need to send your completed form to

Severn Trent

If your total amount to dispose of is greater than 1m3, you’ll need to request a short-term discharge authorisation by completing this form and returning it to If you’re not sure on quantities, you can email (make sure you’ve contacted them at least 7 days before you plan to discharge).

South West Water

You can contact South West Water by sending your full address and the volume of beer and/or cider you need to dispose of to

Southern Water

Southern Water would like you to contact them directly if they’re your wholesaler. You’ll need to email them at and let them know your discharge address, total volume to be discharged and what you’re disposing of (beer and/or cider).

Thames Water

You can get in touch with Thames Water by calling 0202 577 9200 or emailing They’ll need some details from you such as the names and addresses of your premises, the number of casks/kegs you need to dispose of and the volume of litres.

United Utilities

If you’re associated with a brewery, you can contact them to let them know and they’ll liaise with the wholesaler for you. If you’re not associated with a brewery, you can contact United Utilities directly by emailing

They’ll need a few details from you including:

  • Pub name and full address with postcode
  • Contact details of person at the pub disposing of the beer – telephone numbers and email address
  • Contact details for responses to be sent if a bulk application
  • Total volume of waste beer
  • Proposed date of discharge (If any)

Wessex Water

You can email Wessex Water at and will need to provide the following details:

  • Location – The exact address of the premises from which you intend to discharge
  • Quantity – The volume of beer/cider that you are proposing to discharge

They’ll use the information to assess the risk to see whether they can safely receive the proposed discharge.

Yorkshire Water

If your wholesaler is Yorkshire Water, you’ll need to complete this form and send it to You’ll need a few details to hand, like the litres of alcohol you need to dispose of.

You should not discharge surplus alcohol to the sewer without following the above steps first. 

If you want to know more about what trade effluent is you can read our guide to trade effluent.

Let us know your plans

If you haven’t already, please let us know if you’re planning to reopen using our online form, so that we can update your account. It would be really useful if you could give us a meter read so we can get your next bill as accurate as possible.