The District's Pretreatment Program administers local, state, and federal regulations to control pollutants discharged from commercial and industrial customers that may disrupt the collection and treatment system. The regulatory federal language refers to the collection system
and treatment facilities as the "Publicly Owned Treatment Works"
(POTW). Our POTW consists of seven wastewater facilities treating an
average of approximately 100 million gallons per day, twenty-seven pump stations, and
over 2,000 miles of sanitary sewer collection pipelines. The
Pretreatment Program administers and enforces the regulations in order
are designed to treat typical household wastes and biodegradable
commercial and industrial wastes. Commercial and industrial facilities
that discharge toxic pollutants to the treatment plants may be very
detrimental to treatment plant processes and the environment. Industrial
and certain commercial customers that discharge pollutants into the
POTW are required to install, operate, and adequately maintain
pretreatment equipment to remove pollutants that could otherwise damage,
obstruct, interfere with, or pass through the POTW. Examples of such
pollutants include heavy metals, cyanides, toxic organics, and acidic or
basic wastes from industrial operations. Heavy metals and some organic
chemicals which cannot be treated by the biological treatment process
can threaten the bacteria which are necessary to the treatment process
at the wastewater treatment plants.
Wastewater from restaurants
and other food service industries are often more problematic. This is
due to the prevalence of conventional pollutants such as grease, organic
matter and solids. Grease can clog and overload the sewer system.
Processing these food contaminants raises the cost of treating
wastewater. The installation and proper maintenance of grease
interceptors are an important component of keeping grease out of the
collection and treatment systems.
Our Pretreatment Program
protects the treatment process and keeps costs down by working with
local businesses to minimize pollutant discharges. Activities of the
District's Pretreatment Program include the review of pretreatment
designs, the issuance of permits, facility inspections, monitoring of
facilities (wastewater sample collection), review of industry
self-monitoring reports, and enforcement actions.