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Controlling WWTP Effluent Transmittance through Industrial Pretreatment Limits

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Local limits are developed to implement discharge prohibitions to protect against the discharge of pollutants at a quantity or rate that may:

Pass through the POTW at levels which violate water quality standards,

Impair beneficial sludge (biosolids) uses,

Interfere with normal treatment operations and collection system functions,

Threaten worker health and safety through toxic and reactive gases and vapors,

Endanger the public from air emissions at the treatment plant and in the collection system.


Local limits are POTW-specific discharge standards for the control of conventional, non-conventional, and toxic pollutants. The General Pretreatment Regulations in 40 CFR Part 403 require pretreatment POTWs to develop local limits when they develop a pretreatment program and to maintain and enforce these limits. The General Pretreatment Regulations also include prohibitions against the discharge by any user of a POTW of pollutants that cause interference (inhibition or disruption of a POTW potentially causing a violation of the POTW's NPDES permit).

In this paper, several WWTPs are discussed that have been documented as having potentially violated disinfection criteria for effluent fecal coliform due to the presence of refractory organic compounds passing through the WWTP and lowering effluent ultraviolet transmittance (UVT). Compounds in the wastewater responsible for lowering effluent UVT can be considered to be pollutants of concern and thus appropriate for control through the use of local limits. A number of possible approaches for developing local limit standards using ultraviolet transmittance (UVT) standards are described. Proposed UVT standards for industrial discharges for two WWTPs in Washington State are provided.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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