Pretreatment Program & Permits

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A key resource in safeguarding the integrity of our wastewater

What goes into the sewer system matters. The District has a duty to ensure that wastewater that enters the sewer system does not cause undue harm to our system, public health or the health of the environment. Our pretreatment and permitting program is a key resource in safeguarding the integrity of our wastewater.

If you have questions about our pretreatment or permitting program, or if you anticipate expansion, process changes or other needs at your facility, please contact our pretreatment coordinator.

Preventative measures

Our advanced treatment plant removes organic material and pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorus, but toxic pollutants can harm treatment facilities or even pass through to the state’s waterways. To avoid this, our industrial pretreatment program works to keep toxic and non-compatible pollutants out of our sewer system in three ways:

  • Protection: Controlling pollutants capable of causing immediate or long-term problems.
  • Prevention: Ensuring that toxic or incompatible materials are not flushed down the drain by households and industrial sources.
  • Permits: Issuing permits and upholding regulations to keep toxic pollutants out of the sewer system.

The District’s Sewer Use Ordinance governs what can and cannot be placed in our sewer system.

Permitting program

The District’s permitting program is focused primarily on certain categories of industrial users. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) define the categories of users, while the District implements the permitting and oversight of these users. Common permittees include metal finishers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, power plants and pesticide manufacturers.

To ensure industrial users comply with state and federal requirements, the District inspects each facility at least once annually to review the wastewater-generating operations, and we collect samples at least twice each year. If violations are found, an enforcement response plan is developed and implemented.

While the District leads the permitting of significant industrial users in its service area, the municipality providing the local sewer service leads the billing for the users of its sewer system.

Pretreatment services

Our pretreatment coordinator and District staff are available to assist with the following services:

  • Evaluation: We appreciate the opportunity to evaluate and review product, process or wastewater discharge practices and modifications, and may be able to help reduce permitting needs.
  • Expansion: Please use the Industrial Request to Discharge Form (IRDF) to provide information about your planned expansion.
  • Relocation to the District’s service area: Contact our pretreatment coordinator to get started on a solution that is beneficial to you and the environment.
  • Planning for contaminated groundwater or other short-duration discharges: The District assesses local site wastewater quality on a case-by-case basis. We can assist with excavation water, well development and purge water. We do not allow long-term, continuous discharge from these activities to the sanitary sewer system. Please complete the Non-Typical Wastewater Request to Discharge Form (NTRDF).
    Due to the high volume of requests received during the construction season, please plan ahead to submit the NTRDF at least two weeks prior to the start date of the discharge.
  • On-site pretreatment system: If your facility plans to treat its industrial wastewater prior to discharging to the sewer, please work directly with WDNR to obtain approval for your pretreatment system design. Please provide a copy of your facility’s submittal package to the District, as well.
  • Existing industrial discharge permit holders: For questions about or changes to your facility’s approved wastewater discharge, contact the pretreatment coordinator.

ATTENTION CONTRACTORS: Approval is required before discharging water from construction dewatering into the sanitary sewer. You must receive temporary discharge approval in advance of the project using our Non-Typical Wastewater Request to Discharge Form (NTRDF) form.

Due to a higher volume of requests during construction season, please plan accordingly to submit the form at least TWO WEEKS prior to the start date of any discharge.

Additional resources

District Sewer Use Ordinance

The District’s Sewer Use Ordinance governs what can and cannot be placed in our sewer system.

Wisconsin Certified Labs

Sample results submitted under industrial wastewater permit requirements must be generated by laboratories certified by the State of Wisconsin.