The U.S. Congress created the national EPA-mandated Pretreatment program in 1972 to protect the nation's wastewater treatment plants and waterways from discharges of toxic and other pollutants. “Pretreatment” refers to the requirement that industries discharging pollutants treat their wastewaters before discharging to municipal sewer systems. Objectives of our program are to:
- Protect the District's treatment plant and South Platte River from non-domestic pollutants that could pass through the plant if untreated, and ensure that the Metro District's wastewater and biosolids remain of high quality.
- Protect Metro District employees and the general public from potentially harmful chemicals.
- Enable the Metro District to comply with all applicable environmental permits, laws, and regulations.
What Industries are Regulated by this Program?
All businesses, including industrial, commercial and governmental establishments, that discharge anything other than normal sanitary wastewater are subject to the requirements of the Pretreatment Program, and should complete and submit an Industrial Waste questionaire. For most businesses, this simply means they cannot discharge anything that will adversely affect the wastewater system, its workers, or the resulting effluent or biosolids. See Section 6 of the Metro District regulations.
Businesses with a reasonable potential to violate pretreatment standards and requirements or who perform a process deemed by EPA as a “categorical process”, have additional requirements. We classify these businesses as Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) and require them to obtain industrial discharge permits in order to discharge to the sewer system. Examples include
- Metal finishing
- Nonferrous metals forming
- Battery manufacturing
Permits contain specific limits on the industrial pollutants that are present in an industry's discharge. Permits also contain monitoring and reporting requirements with which the industry must comply if it is to continue discharging into the sewer system.
What Happens if a Facility Fails to Comply?
Any non-domestic discharger who fails to comply with pretreatment program standards and requirements faces the possibility of serious enforcement actions, including monetary penalties and termination of service. Our Pretreatment Enforcement Management System details the our policies and procedures for identifying, documenting, and responding to Pretreatment Program violations.
Submit an inquiry for more details about our Pretreatment Program →