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FAQS - WASTEWATER

Q:What steps are followed to evaluate a wastewater treatment problem?
A:Initially, the wastewater needs to be analyzed or characterized to determine its specific pollutional parameters. There is a comprehensive list of analyses which need to be evaluated prior to selecting the appropriate treatment technology. Once the wastewater characterization has been completed, then candidate treatment technologies can be identified and selected for bench-scale (laboratory) treatability investigation. The Laboratory Treatability Investigation will identify those candidate technologies worthy of further consideration. Further consideration involves evaluating the selected technology at the pilot scale which usually means one month to eighteen months evaluation on site of the actual wastewater. The final design can then be based upon data produced during the pilot scale investigation.
Q:What penalties am I facing for violating my National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limitations?
A:Generally speaking, each state has a penalty matrix which applies to exceedences of permit limitations. The actual penalty depends on the rationale for the permit itself and how the individual state Department of Environmental Quality administers the program. Usually an industry is classified as major or minor, depending on whether the discharge is greater than or less than 25,000 gallons per day which puts the industry in a specific penalty category. The penalties are further dependent upon the extent that the event exceeds the permit limit by less than 40% (minor), between 40% and 80% (notable), and greater than 80% (major). Additionally, the waste stream can be classified as non-toxic or toxic which adjusts the penalty in addition to the size of the source and the extent of the exceedence. The maximum daily penalty for each violation is $25,000 per day.
Q:Is it necessary to prepare an application and request a Permit to Operate for a wastewater discharge into a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW)?
A:In general, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pretreatment Permit will be required for most industrial discharges into a POTW.

 
 




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