The Industrial Pretreatment Program of the City of Albany protects the environment and Albany's Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) by regulating potentially harmful wastewater discharges from commercial and industrial sources. By insuring that discharge regulations are met, we improve the ability to treat the City's wastewater and better provide protection to the receiving waters of the Willamette River. The pretreatment program has been set up to fulfill State and Federal requirements, and our program must pass the scrutiny of Audits from the State Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The program intends to:
- Prevent the introduction of pollutants into the City wastewater system which will interfere with the normal operation of the system or contaminate the resulting sludge.
- Prevent the introduction of pollutants into the City wastewater system, which do not receive adequate treatment in the POTW, and which will pass through the system into receiving waters.
- Improve the opportunity to recycle and reclaim wastewater and sludge from the system; and
- Protect the health of the City employees working in the City sewer collection system and at the wastewater treatment plant.
The federal Clean Water Act was amended in 1972 to require that publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) take measures to control industrial discharges that could harm a POTW, interfere with its processes and/or pass through the treatment works to pollute a receiving stream. Pretreatment regulations have since been expanded, and are found in the federal Code of Regulations Title 40, Part 403. Albany's program has legal authority found in the Albany Municipal Code Chapter 10.01.
It is the aim of the program to enlist cooperation with industrial users in meeting pretreatment requirements. The City will work constructively with industry, including providing information on pretreatment requirements, consistent with the City's responsibility to protect the waters of the state from pollution and the secure the health, safety, and welfare of residents of the City. Enforcement procedures will be used as necessary to gain compliance from industrial users.
Regulatory activities include conducting inspections of business and industry in the Albany/Millersburg area, issuing permits to discharge when needed, monitoring, and enforcement. Pretreatment personnel also update the Pretreatment Implementation Manual, the Albany Municipal Code, technically based local limits, and the Interjurisdictional Agreement with Millersburg.
Local Limits on Pollutant Discharge
The City of Albany is required to establish discharge limitations for various pollutants of concern to the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). The regulatory basis for establishing these limits lies in 40 CFR Part 403.5(c), requiring the development of specific limits to implement prohibition of discharges harmful to the POTW, including sludges. The Oregon DEQ has required the submission of technically based local limits for approval, and DEQ has approved Albany's local limits. These limits apply only to Albany's permitted industrial users, but they may be applied to other pollutant sources through a permit in response to problem discharges.
Restaurants and Food Preparation Facilities
The City's Environmental Services Program actively promotes management practices required to reduce the amount of fats, oils and grease that is discharged to the wastewater collection system, where it can cause obstructions or blockages of sewer pipes and increase the need for collection system maintenance. The management practices are based on the "Fats, Oil, and Grease: Best Management Practices Manual" produced by the Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies with funding from DEQ.
These management practices recommend that facilities install and maintain grease traps or interceptors and keep written records of the maintenance activities. New food facilities in the planning/construction process must install grease traps or interceptors as part of their building permit requirements, and facilities that are remodeling also must meet these requirements. City of Albany pretreatment staff conduct site inspections at new and existing businesses to insure compliance with the requirements.
Obstructions caused by heavy amounts of grease from food preparation facilities can result in sewer back ups and overflows, contaminating storm drains and causing health hazard conditions. Facilities that cause problems in the public sewer lines due to grease discharges may be charged for City response resources used, and these facilities may also be required to upgrade their grease trap or interceptor installations.
If you would like more information about food preparation facility management practices contact the Environmental Services office at (541) 917-7600.
What Businesses Are Affected?
Wastewater discharge permits are issued to industrial sewer users that are designated by federal regulations (categorical industrial users), industries that have a large potential impact on the treatment system, and industries with high flow or organic loading. These permitted industries are monitored for compliance with permit limits, and to determine sewer billing under the industrial sewer rate. Albany currently has 12 permitted industrial users, including food processors, pharmaceutical manufacturing, titanium casting, metal finishing, research laboratories, and resin manufacturing.
Non-permitted Industry Survey
Pretreatment staff have inspected businesses and industries in Albany to determine types of wastewater discharged to the sewer system, and to survey chemical storage that could leak or spill causing detrimental slug discharges to the treatment system. More field work including inspections are needed in the months ahead to update this information, and business owners can expect to hear from Environmental Services staff regarding the updated survey.
The following business categories may generate process wastewater that could affect the wastewater treatment system, or store chemicals that could be of concern if spilled or discharged improperly:
- Automotive repair, including radiator and body shops
- Metal finishing
- Dry cleaners
- Vehicle washing, including mobile wash operations
- Restaurants and food preparation facilities
- Dental offices
- Hospitals and medical clinics
- Mobile carpet cleaners
- Industrial laundry
- Grocery stores
- Storage and warehouse
Other categories, even residences, can discharge chemicals or grease improperly that can adversely affect the wastewater collection or treatment system. If you have questions about your business or home use of chemicals and their discharge to either the sanitary sewer or the stormwater system, please contact the Environmental Services office at (541) 917-7600.