Industrial Pretreatment Program
The Industrial Pretreatment Program in Spokane County implements the Clean Water Act requirements to control pollutants in wastewater from industrial facilities before they reach the treatment plant. The Pretreatment Program is approved and overseen by the Washington State Department of Ecology and administered by Spokane County.
The principal objectives of the Pretreatment Program are:
- To prevent interference, defined as the introduction of pollutants which will interfere with the operations of the treatment plant.
- To prevent pass through, defined as the introduction of pollutants which will pass through the treatment plant without receiving adequate treatment.
- To improve opportunities to recycle and reclaim municipal and industrial wastewaters and sludges and prevent contamination of treatment plant sludges with certain pollutants.
- To protect plant and sewer workers from exposure to hazardous conditions.
- To enable the County to comply with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Discharge Permit conditions, sludge use and disposal requirements, and any other applicable federal or state requirements related to Pretreatment.
These objectives are incorporated in Spokane County Code Chapter 8.03A - Pretreatment. This chapter provides a regulatory Pretreatment Program for Spokane County that complies with all applicable state and federal laws. The chapter authorizes the issuance of wastewater discharge permits, provides for compliance monitoring and enforcement activities, establishes administrative review procedures, and requires industrial users reporting.
Pollutants regulated under Chapter 8.03A are associated with non-domestic discharges, such as those from manufacturing processes, introduced into the Spokane County sewer system. The sources of non-domestic discharges are more commonly referred to as industrial users. The industrial users that might be subject to the Pretreatment Program must be identified and located by the pretreatment program. To accomplish this, Spokane County conducts industrial waste surveys for the sewer service area. After collecting data from the industrial waste surveys, the industrial users are sorted into three categories: Significant Industrial Users (SIUs), Minor Industrial Users (MIUs), and Domestic Equivalent Users (DEUs).
All Significant Industrial Users are required to obtain a wastewater discharge permit that will determine the degree of pretreatment necessary for the user to discharge its wastewater into the County sewer system. The permit contains discharge limits and regulations customized to each SIU.
The Pretreatment Program has specific requirements that apply to all industrial users regardless of category. They include prohibited discharge standards, federal categorical pretreatment standards, state pretreatment standards, and local limits. These standards were created to reduce the introduction of pollutants to sewer systems, to treatment plants, and ultimately to the rivers. Pretreatment standards are enforceable by the EPA, Washington State Department of Ecology, and Spokane County Industrial Pretreatment Program. In the case where multiple pretreatment standards apply, Spokane County Pretreatment Program applies the most stringent requirements to the industrial users.
Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation Facility does not accept septage from industrial or residential facilities at this time. Spokane City's Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility does accept septage and can be contacted at (509) 625-7900.