Analysis Request – Effluent Water

Effluent water is industrial or domestic waste water. It refers to liquid waste that flows out of industries or sewer sources into various bodies of water such as rivers, dams and lakes. Effluent water is tested for a range of both chemical and microbiological parameters set for process control, disposal and compliance with legislation.


Depending on legislation, various parameters are tested. Physical properties like pH, Total suspended solids and nutrients (ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite) all affect aquatic life. Increased levels of Total suspended solids, for instance, result in reduced dissolved oxygen levels in water. Heavy metals and microbiological levels have a more direct impact on human health. Vinlab H2O offers various ‘Effluent water’ packages in line with the Integrated Production of Wine Scheme, as well as the Department of Water and Sanitation.


Knowing the quality of effluent water discharged into the environment is imperative as effluent water makes its way into surface and ground water. Toxic levels of both chemical and microbiological contaminants may pollute lakes, rivers and dams. This will negatively affect the environment and the health of people and livestock in the surrounding areas.

How often?

It is a good practice for all industries, be it agricultural, construction, food processing, industrial or pharmaceutical, to test their effluent water monthly, enabling implementation of treatment plans when necessary. The Integrated Production of Wine Scheme requires wineries to test effluent water monthly.


An initial water quality test should be performed before any industry discharges water into the environment. Effluent water undergoing treatment should be tested before, during and after treatment.


Be it mining, dairy processing, chemical production, petroleum, municipal water works, brewing and wineries: any industry that discharges water into the environment should have their effluent water tested.