Community-Based Pretreatment Tool

OUTREACH — Education and Outreach for Affected Businesses

The voluntary pretreatment program should include a communication plan for informing the affected commercial and industrial users; Council, Board, or Commission members; economic development councils; local business organizations; and the community about the municipality’s efforts to implement a program. A well-informed business community is an important partner in building a successful community-based voluntary pretreatment program.

The ACWA Pretreatment Committee can help communities starting voluntary pretreatment programs move forward on outreach while identifying the most cost-effective path to developing and implementing a voluntary pretreatment program. The ACWA Pretreatment Committee by can be reached through our website.

In crafting your voluntary pretreatment program, gather ideas for how to institute a program with the least amount of bureaucracy for both the municipality and businesses that is effective and verifiable. This streamlined implementation would be reflected in the municipal pretreatment legal authority. ACWA can provide technical support and contacts to assist the POTW in these efforts.

Where the POTW develops specific, enforceable BMPs for a sector of businesses, it is best to brief them in person. No one likes surprises. These industrial users will be identified in your industrial waste survey. Hold a briefing for each business sector in a neutral location and understand their ability to attend at specific times of the day. For example, dentists and many businesses will not attend unless the meeting is after 6 pm when most of their businesses close. Restaurants will often find it easier to attend early in the morning. Serving snacks and refreshments is always recommended. The local Chamber of Commerce or other economic development organization may be able to assist in organizing and facilitating the meeting.

City Public Information staff will likely be helpful in developing and implementing an outreach program.

Municipalities and districts can use their website to provide updated information. There should be a Pretreatment Program page that can be accessed through the “Doing Business” and “Departments” related web pages. Always include contact information on the web page.

The municipality may also use newsletters, news releases, radio or TV announcements to convey information. When the POTW develops contact information for specific industrial and commercial users, a newsletter that has specific applicability to those businesses is very useful. If the municipality is small and served by a local paper, news stories are very effective. Avoid using a legal section of the newspaper to provide routine updated information—this section is seldom read.

Business and Industries Technical Assistance

Consider partnerships with existing business organizations to provide ongoing information and technical assistance.
Where possible, assist your local businesses and industries in finding greener alternatives to toxic materials, and in putting best management practices in place. Some resources include:

  • Chemical Substitution

The EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program has detailed information on appropriate products to substitute for toxic chemicals that accomplish the same goals.

ACWA can also provide information on pretreatment education and outreach implemented by other Oregon municipalities.


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