"A Program to Protect the Public, Treatment Plant and Environment"
Valley Sanitary District is required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)to monitor all discharges into the sanitary sewer especially discharges that can harm or have the potential to harm or otherwise cause negative impacts to the collection system or treatment plant. To comply with this USEPA requirement, Valley Sanitary District implemented a pretreatment program in 1996.
All dischargers, both residential and business, have the potential to cause negative impacts to the sewer system by illegal or prohibited discharges. In general these prohibited discharges include but are not limited to: any substance that can cause a fire or explosion, cause an obstruction in the sewer system, toxic gases, failure to pass toxicity testing, discoloration or exceed certain temperatures. The legal authority and discharge specifics are contained in Valley Sanitary District Ordinance No. 2010 and Resolution 2019-1114.
The Valley Sanitary District collection system is made up of pipelines designed to gather domestic waste (sewage), from homes and businesses and convey it to the wastewater treatment plant. The wastewater treatment plant is designed to treat domestic waste using mechanical and biological methods. Domestic waste is considered as those waste types typically discharged from a residential household. Domestic waste however does not include these pollutants, including but not limited to, pesticides, prescription medications, paint, paint thinners or oil. Check with the local city government or waste disposal agencies for disposal information. Most businesses also fall into the domestic waste discharge category with a very small percentage discharging non-domestic waste (pollutant) or utilizing a process that has the potential to harm the sewer system.
The illegal discharge of acid, a pollutant, for example can corrode sewer pipelines, treatment plant structures, emit toxic fumes and in certain strengths destroy the microorganisms used in the treatment plant process. The discharge of gasoline, oil or solvents, both pollutants, create the potential for an explosion in the collection system pipelines or at the treatment plant. An explosion can cause death and widespread damage to both the public and Valley Sanitary District employees. The discharge of metals into the sewer system can also be toxic to the treatment plant and reduce or shutdown the treatment plant process. A treatment plant shutdown can cause the public to be exposed to untreated sewage, be quite costly to repair and subject Valley Sanitary District to civil, criminal actions or fines and penalties.
In 2011 Valley Sanitary District began review of the existing pretreatment program and started the process of updating the program to address the current needs of the community, provide guidelines for future development and remain in compliance with regulatory agencies. This process includes updating user data, identifying all non domestic dischargers, revising the existing sewer use ordinance and other legal documents.
Valley Sanitary District staff is required by this program to perform field inspections at businesses and residences if necessary, monitor discharges as needed, issue permits, maintain records and any other efforts necessary to protect the collection system, treatment plant and comply with program requirements.