The Federal Clean Water Act of 1977 (Public Law 95-217) requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a National Pretreatment Program.
The following are major objectives of the program:
Prevention of the introduction of industrial pollutants into publicly owned wastewater treatment works (POTWs), which will interfere with facility operations and/or the disposal or use of municipal sludge
Prevention of the introduction of pollutants into POTWs, which will pass through wastewater treatment , works into receiving waters or the atmosphere or will otherwise be incompatible with the POTW
Improving opportunities to recycle and reclaim wastewaters and the sludges resulting from wastewater treatment
In accordance with the Federal Clean Water Act, EPA issued "General Pretreatment Regulations For Existing and New Sources" (40 CFR Part 403) on January 28, 1981. These regulations required the development, submission, review, and approval of Local Pretreatment Programs.
As a means of meeting the program objectives, the EPA regulations established the framework for application and enforcement of general Prohibited Discharge Standards for all wastewater dischargers and specific, technology-based Categorical Pretreatment Standards for 34 industrial categories. Prohibited Discharge Standards prohibit discharges from a non-domestic wastewater system user, which contains waste which would substantially interfere with the operation of the POTW. Prohibited discharges generally relate to pollutants causing fire or explosion hazards, corrosion, solid or viscous interference, excessive heat, and those that upset the treatment process and cause a permit or sludge quality violation.
The state of South Carolina has been delegated the authority from the EPA for administering Federal pretreatment requirements within South Carolina. In assuming this responsibility, the State has prepared pretreatment guidelines for the use of local governments in their preparation of local pretreatment programs. The South Carolina guidelines are patterned after the Federal EPA pretreatment requirements.
These guidelines specify that all municipalities, sewer districts, or sewer commissions in the State must develop a Pretreatment Program if their Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW): have a total treatment capability of 5 million gallons per day (MGD) or more, and receive non-domestic waste that is subject to Categorical Pretreatment Standards; is capable of passing through the POTW inadequately treated; is interfering with treatment operations or is contaminating sludge solids. A POTW, with a total design flow of less than 5 MGD, may have to develop a program if the non-domestic discharge: interferes with the treatment operations; contributes to or causes violations of NPDES effluent limits; causes the contamination of sludge solids; or passes through the treatment process without adequate treatment.
Categorical pretreatment standards control waste usually of a toxic nature.
Industries subject to categorical standards:
Soaps & Detergents
Gum and Wood Chemicals*
Printing and Publishing*
Explosives Manufacturing Leather Tanning & Finishing*
Iron and Steel
Paint and Ink
Pulp and Paper
Plastic and Synthetic Materials
Auto and Other Laundries*
Electric and Electronic Components*
* Indicates that the industry or sub-categories of that industry have been exempted from the requirement to comply with National Categorical Standards.
Industrial personnel shall allow City personnel, approved authority, and EPA or their representatives ready access at all reasonable times to all parts of the premises for the purposes of inspecting, records examination, and copying or observation in the performance of any of their duties. City personnel sample all Industrial Users annually, at a minimum.
For more information on the City's Pretreatment Program or Wastewater Contribution Permitting, call (843) 665-3240.