Community-Based Pretreatment Tool

PROJECT PLAN — Resources and Staff Time

Sewer systems interested in developing a voluntary pretreatment program will need to consider the staff time and resources for developing the program and resources for the continuing implementation. In order to estimate resources, the POTW must decide what it intends to do as a part of the voluntary program. Many smaller POTWs may only opt to develop the basic permitting authorities, but implement a Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG) program as its primary pretreatment program activity. Identifying the scope of the voluntary pretreatment program is the activity that should be focused on initially.

The evaluation of resources may resemble a project plan that outlines the staff resources, time frame to complete major activities, types of skills necessary for the specific tasks, and any additional resources, including consultants that might be necessary. A final resource estimate would include staff resources to implement the program on a continuing basis.

Since the scope of a voluntary pretreatment program will be dependent on the types and complexities of the business and industrial sector discharging to your sewer system and any observed impacts due to their discharges, program costs will be different in every community.

The table below has some general estimates based on the experiences of the Oregon ACWA Pretreatment Committee. These general estimates can be used to develop a project plan outlining the necessary staff time and resources for program development and ongoing operations.

General Time Frame to Develop Voluntary Pretreatment Program with Skill Set Inventory

Task Timeframe to Complete Types of Skills Needed

Develop Overall Approach

1–3 months

Planning and organization

Knowledge of local community businesses and industries

Knowledge of contaminants of concern for system/treatment works

Develop Education and Outreach Components

Initial development and then ongoing

Communication skills

Knowledge of community leaders for engagement

Develop, Distribute and Evaluate Industrial Survey 3–6 months (depending on response and necessary follow up inspections)

Planning and organization

Tracking and reviewing information

Technical skills to evaluate discharge information

Develop Local Ordinance Up to 12 months

Legal review

Council/Commission Action

Institute Control Mechanisms 3–6 months initially and ongoing Technical skills to evaluate discharges and develop proper controls
Reporting and Tracking

3–6 months initially and ongoing Organization and technical skills to review

As an example, the City of Troutdale took about 650 staff hours to develop its pretreatment program (without local limits) over about two years. A good portion of the two year time frame was awaiting reviews by others such as the City Attorney or DEQ.


Some Oregon-based and national consultants are available to assist communities in developing a voluntary pretreatment program. The ACWA Pretreatment Committee can provide additional information. Communities could also consider an Intergovernmental Agreement with an existing Oregon pretreatment program to assist in developing the voluntary program and training existing staff to operate the program, once it is up and running.


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