Pretreatment Committee

Getting Started

Overtime, more Oregon communities will want to institute pretreatment programs. An effective pretreatment program has two foundations:

  1. Industrial Survey

    All affected communities should have an updated industrial survey that inventories all significant dischargers to their system. An example industrial survey is available from the City of Portland.

    Guidance on how to conduct an industrial survey is available from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

  2. Sewer Use Ordinance

All communities should also have an updated Sewer Use Ordinance in place. The Sewer Use Ordinance is important to:

  • To prevent the introduction of pollutants into the POTW that will interfere with the operation of the POTW;
  • To prevent the introduction of pollutants into the POTW which will pass through the POTW, inadequately treated, into receiving waters or otherwise be incompatible with the POTW;
  • To ensure that the quality of the wastewater treatment plant biosolids are maintained at a level which allows beneficial reuse of biosolids in an environmentally sounds manner;
  • To protect POTW personnel who may be affected by wastewater and biosolids in the course of their employment and to protect the general public; and
  • To improve the opportunity to recycle and reclaim wastewater and biosolids from the POTW.

Click here to view an example Sewer Use Ordinance from the City of Gresham at

Pollution Prevention

Pollution prevention is an important foundation for all pretreatment programs. Examples of pollution prevention programs in place for many Oregon communities include:

  • Reduce Fats, Oil & Grease

Fats, Oil & Grease controls are needed to ensure plumbing systems operate properly and that excess grease does not clog sewer collection lines. The Preferred Pumper Program is for grease trap/interceptor pump-out companies that meet certain criteria established by regional municipalities. Standardized procedures increase the likelihood that grease traps/interceptors are cleaned correctly, and reduce fats, oils and grease (FOG) into the sewer system.

Pumpers registered with the Preferred Pumper Program certify that they will follow pump-out criteria. Commercial/institutional FOG-generators in the region are encouraged to use a preferred pumper.



Wastewater Treatment facility construction

Owners of grease traps/interceptors using a registered preferred pumper know that grease trap/interceptor pump-outs should be completed correctly in accordance with industry standards. When FOG-generators use a registered preferred pumper, the pumper assumes responsibility for submitting completed Pump-Out Reports. Regulatory inspections will focus on pumpers’ performance in maintaining traps/interceptors.

  • Advocate for Environmentally Sound Disposal of Unwanted and Unused Drugs

Proper, environmentally-sound destruction of unwanted and unused medicines prevents prescription drug addiction—especially in teens, reduces poisonings, and protects water quality. A number of Oregon law enforcement agencies provide drop box collection services for residents to dispose of unwanted and unused medicines. The collected medicines are safely incinerated in a facility with high temperature destruction and air pollution control equipment. See an inventory of the Oregon drug take back collection boxes sorted by community.

  • Separator Installation and BMPs for Oregon Dental Offices

An example inspection form for inspecting dental offices is available for wastewater utilities in two formats: to download and use as an editable form (PDF format) or to customize as required (Word document).

Best Management Practices must be followed at dental offices to reduce hazardous materials including mercury amalgam, lead foil, and x-ray fixer from reaching the sewer system.

All dental offices in Oregon are requested to install separator units and to follow environmentally sound practices.

  • ACWA Pollution Prevention website

Many ACWA members collaborated to develop a pollution prevention web site. Although initially developed as a compliance tool for SB 737 and its associated 118 Priority Persistent Pollutants.

Pretreatment Coordinators will find the detailed chemical profiles and pollution prevention program outlines on the Oregon Water Quality website useful. Participating ACWA members have been issued passcodes to access the site.

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