Pretreatment Program

The Pretreatment Program is a federally mandated program that gives publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) regulatory authority over commercial and industrial users of the municipal wastewater system.

POTWs are designed to treat domestic sewage from households. Industrial and commercial facilities may produce toxic or unconventional waste that would interfere or pass through the wastewater treatment process. Interference or pass through may cause the water leaving the treatment plant entering into the Fox River to contain pollutants that may be harmful to people, aquatic plants or animals, or even make the water toxic.

In order to protect our waters and the wastewater treatment process, as well as comply with State and Federal law, the Heart of the Valley Metropolitan Sewerage District has operated a state-approved Pretreatment Program since 1990.

The major goals of the industrial pretreatment program are:

  • To prevent the introduction of pollutants into the Publicly Owned Treatment Works that will cause interference with its operation;
  • To prevent the introduction of pollutants into the Publicly Owned Treatment Works that will pass through the Publicly Owned Treatment Works, inadequately treated, into receiving waters;
  • To provide protection for public health and welfare of POTW personnel and the community.

Federal, State, and local regulations establish pretreatment rules and wastewater discharge standards. The industrial pretreatment program implements the rules and monitors the wastewater discharge from local industries and other non-domestic wastewater sources for compliance with the wastewater discharge standards. The program also collects samples of wastewater from all over the metropolitan sewer system, monitoring conditions in the system and for unknown sources of pollutants.

The Pretreatment program issues enforceable wastewater discharge permits, as required by the program, to many industries and to all companies that transport waste from sources such as portable toilets and septic tanks to Heart of the Valley MSD for disposal. The permits specify regulated pollutants, discharge standards, monitoring and reporting requirements, and various standard conditions.