Keep our Community and Waterways Safe and Clean

Regulations & Discharge Standards

The implementation regulations for the Pretreatment Program can be found in Title 21 DC Municipal Regulations Chapter 15 - Discharges to Wastewater System (21 DCMR § 1501-1599). The legal authority for these regulations is in the statute found in DC Official Code § 8-105 et seq.

The pretreatment program has established discharge standards for industries that include federally mandated prohibited discharge standards (21 DCMR § 1501.4) and categorical discharge standards, as well as local discharge standards that are specific to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. Discharge standards apply to all non-domestic sources and are reviewed at least every five years. Industries may be required to pretreat their wastewater discharge if the pollutants exceed or have the potential to exceed the allowable discharge concentrations.

Inspections & Monitoring

DC Water conducts inspections and monitoring of Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) and other Industrial Users, as needed, to determine compliance with pretreatment regulations. All SIUs are monitored at least annually for compliance with federal and local discharge limitations. In addition to monitoring SIUs, DC Water conducts scheduled annual comprehensive inspections of each SIU's facility. Additional scheduled inspections may be conducted during the year if the facility has major process changes or modifications to their pretreatment systems.

In addition to scheduled inspections, the following types of actions may trigger unscheduled field inspections and/or additional monitoring:

  • Significant Noncompliance or multiple permit violations
  • Suspected tampering with sampling
  • Falsification of information
  • Illegal discharge
  • Spill
  • Complaint

All violations of federal discharge limitations and requirements are met with enforcement action.

Enforcement

All violations of federal, state and local discharge limitations and requirements are met with enforcement action. This enforcement action is outlined in DC Water's Enforcement Response Plan.

Continuing violations that cause a violator to be in Significant Noncompliance will subject the violator to escalating enforcement action, including publication in The Washington Post and possible issuance of an administrative order with fines.

If you have questions about DC Water's Pretreatment Program or enforcement actions, please call the DC Water Pretreatment Program Manager at 202-787-4177.

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