The Dallas Water Utilities Pretreatment Program (pretreatment program) administers local, state, and federal regulations to control pollutants discharged from Commercial and Industrial Users (IUs) within the City of Dallas (City) which may pass through or interfere with the City’s Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). The City’s POTW consists of two wastewater treatment plants treating up to 260 million gallons per day, fourteen pump stations, and over 4,100 miles of sanitary sewer collection pipelines. The Pretreatment Program administers and enforces the regulations in order to:
- Protect the City's wastewater collection systems, treatment plants, and workers
- Allow the beneficial re-use of bio-solids
- Allow the reclamation of treated effluent for irrigation and other uses
- Maintain water quality in the Trinity River.
POTWs are designed to treat typical household wastes and biodegradable commercial and industrial wastes. Commercial and industrial facilities that discharge toxic pollutants to the treatment plants may be very detrimental to treatment plant processes and the environment. IUs which discharge pollutants into the POTW are required to install, operate, and adequately maintain pretreatment equipments to remove pollutants that could otherwise damage, obstruct, interfere with, or pass through the POTW. Examples of such pollutants include heavy metals, cyanides, toxic organics, and acidic or basic wastes from industrial operations. Heavy metals and some organic chemicals which cannot be treated by the biological treatment process can threaten the bacteria which are necessary to the treatment process at the wastewater treatment plants.
Wastewaters from restaurants and other food service industries are often more problematic due to the prevalence of conventional pollutants such as grease, organic matter and solids. Grease can clog and overload the sewer system. Processing these food contaminants raises the cost of treating wastewater.
The Pretreatment Program protects the treatment process and keeps costs down by working with local businesses to minimize pollutant discharges. Activities of the City's Pretreatment Program include the review of pretreatment designs, the issuance of permits, facility inspections, monitoring of facilities (wastewater sample collection), review of industry self-monitoring reports, and enforcement activities.