Pretreatment

The City of Johnson City has an EPA-approved Industrial Pretreatment Program, which administers local, state and federal regulations affecting area businesses and the quality of the wastewater discharged into the City’s system. These regulations were implemented to:

  • Prevent the introduction of pollutants, which will interfere with the operation of the system or contaminate the resulting bio-solids, into the municipal wastewater system.
  • Prevent the introduction of pollutants – which will pass through the wastewater system, inadequately treated, into surface waters of the State of Tennessee or otherwise be incompatible with the wastewater treatment processes – into the municipal wastewater system.
  • Protect both the general public and municipal personnel who may be affected by sewage, sludge, and effluent in the course of their employment.
  • Allow for the safe and beneficial reuse and/or disposal of bio-solids generated in the treatment process.

    “Significant Users,” identified as non-domestic sewage dischargers that have the potential to affect wastewater operations, are required to install, operate and adequately maintain pretreatment systems to remove pollutants that could otherwise damage or obstruct the wastewater collection system or interfere with the wastewater treatment process. Examples of such pollutants include heavy metals, cyanide, oil and grease, toxic organics, and acidic or caustic wastes from industrial operations.

    Major components of the City’s Industrial Pretreatment Program include:

  • locating industrial users and identifying pollutants they discharge;
  • notifying industrial users of applicable standards and requirements related to pretreatment;
  • issuing wastewater discharge permits;
  • performing sample collection and site inspections;
  • reviewing and monitoring permittee self-monitoring reports;
  • investigating instances of noncompliance with pretreatment standards and requirements;
  • providing annual public notification of industrial users that have significantly violated applicable pretreatment standards and requirements;
  • developing and enforcing local limits to control the discharge of pollutants by industrial users into treatment plants; and
  • initiating enforcement activities when appropriate.

    Additionally, the program oversees:

  • a Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) program, which prevents commercial food preparation users from discharging grease into the sewer system;
  • a permit system for allowing septic tank pumpers to discharge into the wastewater treatment plants for safe disposal;
  • permitting of UST state permitted clean-up sites connected to sanitary sewer; and
  • permitting of users to install deduct meters on water supplies that do not return wastewater back to the sanitary sewer system.