As a wastewater producer, you might be struggling to figure out who polices water. And we aren’t talking about the people that police the lake you’re boating around in. Depending on the state you live in, there will be different laws and agencies regulating wastewater discharge. For instance, if you’re in California, you can count on at least 12 different state and federal regulatory requirements for water use and disposal, from the Safe Drinking Water Act, to the Clean Water Act and the California Department of Environmental Health.
It might be difficult to figure out which wastewater discharge regulations pertain to you and your industry, especially because there can be a lack of universal wastewater discharge standards. Not only do you need to pay attention to federal regulations, like the Clean Water Act and regulations put forth from the Environmental Protection Agency, but you need to pay attention to the regulations enforced by your state and your county. Everyone needs to follow regulations put in place by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Department of Environmental Health, the Department of Health, and the EPA.
On a state level, you need to pay attention to the Pollution Control Agency. They have permits, regulations, standards, and rules on everything from air, to waste, to water. Pay attention to your water quality rules before discharging. There are organizations, like the Minnesota Wastewater Operators Association, that you can join to stay updated on wastewater regulations and trends. Other regulations you have to follow will depend on whether or not you’re in city limits, and whether you use a publicly owned treatment facility.
You can stay proactive by familiarizing yourself with your state’s regulations, along with those on a federal level. Refer back often to your state’s water regulations, as they can change. And as your company grows and you begin producing more wastewater, or you change locations, your regulations may very well also change.