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The Butler County Department of Environmental Services (BCDES) is a water and wastewater utility serving a population of over 100,000 in Southwest, Ohio. In recent years, BCDES has implemented a continuous improvement program that is focused on improving compliance among industrial dischargers with selective outsourcing and innovative pretreatment tools such as Surcharge Agreements, Compliance Schedules and Pollution Prevention (P2).

Selective outsourcing has allowed us to:

Refocus staff from sampling and analysis to other areas of the pretreatment program

Improve violation tracking and enforcement of significant industrial users

Develop a proactive Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG) Control Program

Provide better customer service to existing permittees

Allow more time and attention at identifying new or existing users

Using innovative pretreatment compliance tools BCDES has negotiated numerous compliance schedules and surcharge agreements with Industrial User (IU), whereby the IU makes improvements to their pretreatment system and brings them into compliance with local limits. The implementation of surcharge agreements has resulted in the investment of nearly 500,000 into individual industrial user pretreatment systems, with the intent to get the industry out of significant noncompliance (SNC) status. The changes in our program have allowed us to evaluate the data more closely, looking for trends and recurring problems or concerns that require an investment of time or money.

The pretreatment program is one area in the wastewater treatment field that receives a lot of attention at most wastewater utilities. It is an exciting area, having matured since the establishment of the Clean Water Act; it can be used as a mechanism to springboard utilities and industries into areas of continuous improvements and optimization. For the purpose of this paper, BCDES will highlight what has worked well in its efforts to bring about continuous improvement in its pretreatment program, which could benefit others to bring about similar, lasting change.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-01-01

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