Zero-rating applies to the reception, disposal or treatment of foul water or sewage in bulk and the emptying of cesspools, septic tanks or similar receptacles which are used otherwise than in the carrying on in the course of a business of a ‘relevant industrial activity’ (VATA 1994, Sch. 8, Grp. 2, item 1). The words ‘similar receptacles’ probably exclude receptacles which receive foul water or matter from buildings occupied by farm animals, livestock, etc.
The reception, disposal or treatment of foul water in bulk is zero-rated whatever the status of the customer.