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Wastewater

Issue Summary
U.S. EPA
States
Organizations/Non-Government Programs
Publications
Databases and Tools


Issue SummaryWastewater

Under Clean Water Act (CWSWA) regulations, local governments are responsible for designing, planning, constructing, financing, operating and maintaining wastewater treatment facilities, and the conveyance systems, known as publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). POTWs collect wastewater from homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities and transport it via a series of pipes, known as a collection system, to the treatment plant. Here, the POTW removes harmful organisms and other contaminants from the sewage so it can be discharged safely into the receiving stream. Generally, POTWs are designed to treat domestic sewage only. However, POTWs also receive wastewater from industrial (non-domestic) users. The General Pretreatment Regulations establish responsibilities of Federal, State, and local government, industry and the public to implement Pretreatment Standards to control pollutants from the industrial users which may pass through or interfere with POTW treatment processes or which may contaminate sewage sludge.

Wastewater collection and treatment activities may also include laboratory operations, biosolids management and disposal, chemical storage/hazardous materials management, and vehicle/equipment management.

U.S. EPA

EPA's Office of Wastewater Management (OWM). OWM oversees a range of programs contributing to the well-being of the nation's waters and watersheds. OWM focuses on control of water that is collected in discrete conveyances (also called point sources), including pipes, ditches, and sanitary or storm sewers. OWM is also home to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the largest water quality funding source, focused on funding wastewater treatment systems, nonpoint source projects and estuary protection.

Municipal Technologies. The Agency provides both direct and indirect assistance in the area of municipal wastewater treatment technologies. Direct assistance includes one-on-one discussions about design, operation and maintenance of systems, and the identification and solution of problems.

For regulations pertaining to pretreatment programs, go to:Wastewater

Federal Funding for Utilities - Water/Wastewater - in National Disasters (Fed FUNDS). The purpose of Fed FUNDS is to provide tailored information to water and wastewater utilities about applicable federal disaster funding programs. The Fed FUNDS Web pages address national-level disasters, but could also apply to large-scale and even local disasters that result in service interruptions and significant damage to the critical water/wastewater infrastructure.

National Environmental Training Center for Small Communities (NETCSC). Through U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding, NETCSC assisted small communities with training materials, information, and referral services in the areas of wastewater and drinking water. Through the efforts of technical assistance providers and trainers the program benefits local decision-makers, operations personnel, regulatory officials, environmental consultants, and others by aiding their efforts to improve the public health and water utilities management of their communities. NETCSC's training materials and products are currently available.

States

State Regulations Resource Locator. Find environmental regulations, link to state agencies, retrieve agency news, and download sector-specific resources.

Organizations/Non-Government Programs

The Water Environment Federation. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is an international not-for-profit educational and technical organization of over 40,000 water experts.

Publications

View Municipalities and Wastewater Treatment Plants publications:

Databases and Tools

Local Limits Development Guidance. The Office of Wastewater Management of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Water prepared this guidance document to assist municipalities that own or operate publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) in developing and implementing local pretreatment programs.