Pretreatment Program


The ultimate goal of the Pretreatment Enforcement Program is to ensure compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal rules and r​egulations as they relate to pretreatment standards and requirements. The program's primary concern in every enforcement scenario is to correct the problem that caused the violation.

The Pretreatment Program staff follow an Enforcement Response Plan to ensure that our response to any violation:

  • Focuses on solving the problem that caused the violation,
  • Is conducted fairly and consistently,
  • Recovers utility costs caused by the violation,
  • Is taken in a timely fashion.

The enforcement response adopted for any given violation depends on several factors. These factors include:

  • The magnitude and duration of the violation.
  • Any effect on the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) or the Trinity River.
  • Any injury to personnel or the public.
  • The compliance history of​ the business.
  • Any good faith demonstrated by the offender.

Dallas Water Utilities enforces sanitary sewer system regulations through the legal authority granted in The Dallas City Code, Volume II, Chapter 49, Sec 49-42. These regulations apply to all users of the sanitary sewer system.

Industrial users regulated under the Pretreatment Program are also subject to the specific requirements established in a Permit to Discharge Industrial Wastes  into the City of Dallas Sanitary Sewer System. Violations of the permit typically fall into two categories, "Reporting" and "Discharge." Reporting violations result from failing to submit a required report, submitting an incomplete report, falsification of a report or similar infractions. Discharge violations happen when wastewater monitoring indicates that the industry has exceeded discharge limits for parameters specified in the permit. Enforcement may include actions such as:

  • Notices of violation.
  • Compliance plans and schedules.
  • Administrative orders.
  • Show cause hearings.
  • Revocation of permits.
  • Termination of services.
  • Civil and criminal penalties.

Significant Noncompliance (SNC) is a regulatory process of listing industrial users that have significant violations to Pretreatment rules and regulations. A facility may become SNC with discharge standards, reporting requirements, compliance schedule milestones, or other standards as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 40, Part 403, 40 CFR 403.8(f)(2)(viii). The most common determination of Significant Noncompliance is due to violations of wastewater discharge limits.

The names of industries found to be SNC are published annually, during the month of September, in the classified section of the Dallas Morning News newspaper.