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Our Pretreatment Program Protects Your Waterways

Certain substances from businesses and industries have the ability to pass through the wastewater treatment system without being removed or can interfere with the treatment process making it less effective. The pretreatment program works to reduce, eliminate or alter these pollutants before they can enter the sanitary sewer system. DC Water's Industrial Pretreatment Program was established in 1986 as required by the Clean Water Act to regulate industrial discharges.

The goals of DC Water's Industrial Pretreatment Program are to:

  • Prevent the introduction of pollutants that will interfere with the operation of DC Water's wastewater treatment plant
  • Prevent the pass-through of pollutants to protect the Potomac River water quality and maintain compliance with DC Water's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit
  • Improve opportunities to recycle and reclaim municipal and industrial wastewaters and sludges
  • Protect the health and safety of the general public and DC Water workers

Our approved Industrial Pretreatment Program is under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region III office. We issue wastewater permits under this program to regulate industrial wastewater discharged into the District of Columbia's sanitary and combined sewer system. The Program meets its objectives by establishing discharge standards for pollutants of concern, through permitting certain industrial users, testing for compliance with permit limits and conducting facility inspections.

While neighboring jurisdictions discharge wastewater into DC Water's collection system, industrial users from Prince Georges, Montgomery, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties must follow the rules and regulations of their jurisdictional pretreatment programs, in addition to meeting the discharge standards for DC Water.

For more information, you can download 

2020 DC Water’s Pretreatment Annual Report (Part 1 of 2)

2020 DC Water’s Pretreatment Annual Report (Part 2 of 2)

2020 DC Water’s Pretreatment Annual Report Certification

2019 DC Water's Pretreatment Annual Report (Part 1 of 2)

2019 DC Water's Pretreatment Annual Report (Part 2 of 2 )

2018 DC Water's Pretreatment Annual Report.

2017 DC Water's Pretreatment Annual Report.

2016 DC Water's Pretreatment Annual Report.


Phone Number 202-787-4177 Pretreatment Program Manager
Email pretreatment@dcwater.com
Mailing Address DC Water 
Department of Wastewater Treatment 
Pretreatment Program 
5000 Overlook Ave., SW 
Washington, D.C. 20032

Spill Notification

Spills and accidental discharges shall be reported immediately by phoning:

Contact person Phone No. Contact hours
Pretreatment Program Manager 202-787-4177 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F
Water and Sewer Emergency Number (24 hour) 202-612-3400 At all other times and when Pretreatment staff are not available

Upcoming Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting

April 24, 2023

Monday 9:00 AM


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