The largest of Oregon’s wastewater treatment systems are required to have Industrial Pretreatment programs in place to regulate businesses and industries that discharge to their systems. The ACWA Pretreatment Committee provides a forum to stay abreast of regulatory challenges and compliance strategies, provide educational opportunities and maintain a strong peer-to-peer network for information and problem solving. The Pretreatment Committee coordinates closely with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality staff, and focuses on issues like evolving federal categorical standards, setting local limits, and pollution prevention. Meetings are generally 9 am to 12 pm on the second Tuesday of every month. With some exceptions, meetings rotate around the state and are hosted by committee members.
Regulatory Requirements for Pretreatment Programs
Under the federal Clean Water Act, the U.S. EPA has set requirements for communities to require industries discharging excessive pollutants to treat their wastewater before releasing it to the local municipal sewer system. The objectives of the national pretreatment program are:
- To protect municipal wastewater treatment systems from interference in the treatment processes caused by industrial wastes,
- To protect rivers and streams from industrial wastes that might pass through the municipal treatment system untreated,
- To provide for the beneficial reuse of biosolids as soil conditioners and fertilizers,
- To protect wastewater 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 treatment plant.
In Oregon, the Oregon DEQ operates the federal pretreatment program. Communities required to have an industrial pretreatment program have program requirements included as a permit condition in the appropriate National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Log in to the members-only section of the website to access more information about Pretreatment Program requirements, available resources, and Committee activities.