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Western Carolina Regional Sewer Authority (WCRSA) pursued a business versus regulatory approach for managing wastewater treatment plant flow capacity for compliance and economic growth purposes while receiving a pollution prevention payback in the process. Prior to changing the way flow capacity is allocated, it was committed to industrial customers' discharge permits. Meeting the demands of providing wastewater treatment service in a growth economy like WCRSA's service area became a major challenge when it was determined that WCRSA allowed flow capacity to be reserved, but unutilized. In many cases, this over allocation resulted in limited metals capacity. This situation meant that flow reserved, but not utilized, had to be removed from the record, or several of the treatment plants would have to undergo costly upgrades to meet the additional flow capacity needs of existing and new users. WCRSA approached the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce and WCRSA's industrial customers for ideas regarding how to develop a program for managing flow capacity allocations. Using a business approach, WCRSA implemented an Unused Flow Capacity Allotment Charge that encouraged its industrial customers to better manage their flow capacity allocations. As a result, WCRSA recovered several million gallons of reserved, but not utilized, flow capacity. The fee also generated revenue for funding capital projects. Furthermore, pollution prevention savings continues to be realized in recovered capacity for constituents such as metals. The fee has a long lasting effect on controlling flow capacity allocations, which demonstrates the success of using a business approach in lieu of a regulatory approach.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-10-01

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