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Rules apply to wastewater discharges into the sanitary sewer system. Most, if not all of them, have their roots in the Clean Water Act, a federal law that protects the nations waterways from pollutants discharged by a variety of sources including industry, municipal treatment plants, and construction activities, among others.

Based on the requirements of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) developed regulations pertaining to wastewater discharges. The most significant of these is the General Pretreatment Regulations. They require that publicly owned treatment plants develop methods to protect the public, sanitary sewer system and its workers, and its receiving waters from industrial wastewater discharges.

Legal authority

WEP's authority derives from the Rules and Regulations Relating to the Use of the Public Sewer System. They establish limits for wastewater pollutants, detail prohibited discharges, give the County authority to issue permits and other devices to control wastewater discharges, and define enforcement and administrative proceedings.

Based on the Rules and Regulations, WEP created a Uniform Enforcement Response Plan (ERP). This is a guide for fair and equitable implementation of enforcement activities.

Categorical standards

In addition to County standards for wastewater discharges, some industries may also have to meet federal standards which are referred to as categorical standards. These are often more restrictive than County standards. Examples of industries that may be required to meet categorical standards are metal finishers and pharmaceuticals.

New York State standards

A New York State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit is required to discharge directly to a body of water, a storm sewer, or to the ground. For example, each County wastewater treatment plant has a SPDES permit for the discharge of treated water. SPDES permits may also be required for construction activities and ground water remediation. State permits are issued for air pollutants and hazardous waste activities as well.

An Onondaga County Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit may be required for discharges to the County sewer system.

Onondaga County Rules and Regulations Relating to the Use of the Public Sewer System
   —Table of contents
   —Article 1: Authority
   —Article 2: General provisions
   —Article 3: Prohibited uses and discharge limitations
   —Article 4: Industrial wastewater discharge permits and other requirements
   —Article 5: Industrial waste surcharge
   —Article 6: Procedures
   —Article 7: Enforcement & penalties
   —Article 8: Validity

Envelope Image If you have questions about the regulations that apply to your wastewater discharges, please call 315-435-2260.


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