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Thirty-six Years after the Clean Water Act – Time for a New Regulatory Framework

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The Secondary Treatment Regulation that establishes technology-based limits for BOD5, cBOD5, and total suspended solids is no longer relevant to wastewater treatment facilities that have stringent nutrient limits or that use advanced treatment technologies. Low concentrations of these pollutants are achieved when stringent limits for phosphorus or nitrogen are met, and when filtration technologies are used. This paper outlines an approach for changing our regulatory framework to (1) reduce monitoring frequency when low concentrations of these pollutants are met reliably, and (2) develop an advanced treatment standard that eliminates effluent limits for these pollutants when specific nitrogen and phosphorus limits are included in permits.

Keywords: BOD5; NPDES; cBOD5; nitrification; nutrient removal; total suspended solids

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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