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“PARTNERING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT,” AN INDUSTRIAL WASTEWATER COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK LINKS THE COMMUNITY AND UTILITY

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The Spartanburg Water System and Spartanburg Sanitary Sewer District (SWS/SSSD) are located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on the I-85 corridor between Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. SWS/SSSD is responsible for the day-to-day operation of two surface water treatment facilities (combined capacity of 80 MGD), elevated and ground storage tanks and pumping stations, and over 1000 miles of distribution mains. In addition, SWS/SSSD operates 19 wastewater treatment facilities (combined capacity of 22 MGD), 54 wastewater pumping stations, and approximately 400 miles of wastewater mains. SWS/SSSD has 250 employees with an operating budget of 31 million.

The Spartanburg Sanitary Sewer District's Industrial Wastewater Program issues permits or authorizations to approximately 80 industries in Spartanburg County to discharge to five wastewater plants. These industries combine to discharge approximately 2.5 MGD to be further treated at District facilities. All five wastewater plants that receive industrial wastes discharge into streams that have been identified as “impaired” by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). Because of the stream designation, the NPDES permits to those wastewater facilities have exceptionally restrictive compliance limits. As a result, the District has been compelled to rework the headworks limits and to further decrease permit or authorization limits to the 80 industries that discharge to the District's facilities.

The regulatory changes in the past three years have led the District and its industrial community to forge a partnership to support compliance initiatives. The partnership is supported by a communications network that includes:



An industrial wastewater bulletin board to share technical information throughout the regulated community;


Regulatory newsletters on critical compliance issues;


Presentations on technical subjects of interest;


The formation of industrial work groups to work together on key compliance initiatives;


A speaker's bureau to provide District personnel for company training sessions or for function; and


An awards program to recognize the commitment of the community to maintaining compliance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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