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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

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Table of Contents: Water Quality

Wastewater Treatment - Pretreatment

Industrial wastes can damage sewers or interfere with the operation of publicly owned treatment works. They can pass through a system untreated, contaminating nearby water bodies and increasing the cost and environmental risks of sludge treatment and disposal. Using proven pollution control techniques, industries can pretreat their wastewater to remove pollutants before discharging them into the municipal system.

To discharge industrial pretreated waste water into a municipal sewer connected to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) may require a permit. In Indiana, 47 municipalities implement U.S. EPA approved pretreatment permit ordinances:

  • Anderson
  • Auburn
  • Bloomington
  • Bremen
  • Butler
  • Columbus
  • Connersville
  • Crawfordsville
  • East Chicago
  • Elkhart
  • Evansville
  • Fort Wayne
  • Frankfort
  • Gary
  • Goshen
  • Greensburg
  • Hammond
  • Huntington
  • Indianapolis
  • Jasper
  • Jeffersonville
  • Kendallville
  • Kokomo
  • Lafayette
  • LaPorte
  • Logansport
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • Michigan City
  • Mishawaka
  • Muncie
  • New Albany
  • New Castle
  • North Vernon
  • Plymouth
  • Princeton
  • Richmond
  • Seymour
  • Shelbyville
  • South Bend
  • Speedway
  • Terre Haute
  • Valparaiso
  • Vincennes
  • Wabash
  • Warsaw

If you are planning to discharge industrial wastewater into the municipal sewer system in one of these cities or towns, you will need to contact the local pretreatment program coordinator to gain approval.

If you are planning to discharge into a municipal sewer in a location other than those listed above, you must first submit an Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Permit application (available on the IDEM Forms page) to IDEM so that it can be determine whether a permit is required.

Some of the things a discharger must do to comply with IDEM's Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Permit Program include (but are not limited to):

  • Submit an application describing the industrial process, listing the pollutants of concern, specifying sampling locations, and providing all related information;
  • List the names and addresses of all persons who may be potentially affected by the discharge from your facility;
  • Obtain a waste acceptance letter from the receiving POTW;
  • If needed, obtain a Wastewater Facility Construction Permit to build the pretreatment facility;
  • Submit a $50 application fee, and pay an annual fee of $350.

What to Expect

Although IDEM faces no specific time limits for issuing permitting decisions on IWPPs, applications generally are processed in less than 180 days. Draft permits also must be placed on public notice for 30 days. New dischargers are required to submit an application 180 days prior to commencement of a discharge.

Regardless of whether IDEM or a municipality issues the pretreatment permit, the permittee also must apply for a Wastewater Facility Construction permit from IDEM prior to initial construction of the actual on-site pretreatment facility. However, subsequent modifications may, or may not, require a construction permit.  In addition, the operator of the pretreatment facility also will have to obtain a Wastewater Operator Certification from IDEM.

Changing Ownership/Transferring

As with individual NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits, IDEM-issued Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Permits (IWPP) may be transferred to a new owner. On the other hand, facilities located in municipalities with U.S. EPA-approved local pretreatment programs should contact the local POTW (publicly owned treatment works).

If a facility with an IDEM-issued IWPP will be undergoing an ownership change, the current permittee (permit holder) must notify the IDEM Office of Water Quality (OWQ) at least 30 days in advance of the transfer. The current and new owners also must provide to OWQ a written agreement that lists the specific date for transferring responsibility for compliance with the conditions of the permit from the current permittee, to the new owner (transferee). The transferee also must certify his or her intent to continue operations without making any changes to the facility or its processes that would significantly change the nature or quantities of pollutants discharged.

If, on the other hand, the transferee does intend to make changes that will alter the nature or quantities of pollutants to be discharged, then he or she must first submit an application seeking to modify the newly transferred permit to allow for such changes. The transferee will not be allowed to make the changes until the permit has been modified, or revoked and reissued, to address the changes to the nature and quantity of the discharge.

Submit completed IDEM Office of Water Quality "Notification of Transfer of Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment (IWP) Permit" [PDF] form to:

Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Office of Water Quality – Mail Code 65-42
Room 1255
NPDES Permit Section
100 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2251

For Additional Information

More information is also available from the IDEM's Office of Water Quality IDEM OWQ Pretreatment Permits Program page and questions may be directed to permits staff at (800) 451-6027.