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43: Industrial Wastewater
Overview Requirements Standards Definitions    

View the entire chapter in a PDF format. Please use the pdf for printing.

General (5.1)

The main requirement for SLAC is to comply with applicable rules and regulations regarding industrial wastewater, generally expressed in the permit. Staying in compliance involves correctly characterizing discharges, observing permitting requirements, and using BMPs where appropriate to stay within permit limits.

Types of Discharges

All wastewater discharges are categorized as routine (listed in a current SLAC permit), non-routine (eligible to be discharged under a non-routine permit), or prohibited, as described below.

Routine Discharges

The SLAC wastewater discharge permit with the SBSA and WBSD characterizes acceptable routine discharges to the sanitary sewer in terms of type and flow. These discharges are itemized in Industrial Wastewater: Permitted and Prohibited Discharge Reference [pdf].

Any process change that significantly affects the constituents, strength, volume, temperature, or discharge period of the wastewater must be reported to the IW program manager to determine

  • The type of permit required (update the existing permit or apply for a non-routine permit)
  • Notification requirements (SBSA and WBSD)

Non-routine Discharges

Certain discharges not covered under the existing permit may require evaluation to determine the required type of permit or the appropriate disposal method if discharge to the sanitary sewer is prohibited. Process owners must contact the IW program manager for assistance.

Note: For discharges that must be disposed of as a California-regulated waste, see Chapter 17, "Hazardous Waste".

Prohibited Discharges

SLAC's permit characterizes prohibited discharges, which include any discharge that endangers human life or safety, causes a fire or explosion, contains hazardous materials, causes a detrimental environmental impact, or obstructs flow. For a complete list of prohibited discharges, see Industrial Wastewater: Permitted and Prohibited Discharge Reference [pdf].

All spills or discharges to the sanitary sewer system that violate permit conditions must be reported to the IW program manager, who will ensure the spill or discharge is reported to the SBSA, as required. Any spills containing radioactive water or constituents must also be reported to the Radiation Protection Department (RP). For more information on handling spills, see Chapter 16, "Spills".

Permit Requirements

SLAC's wastewater discharge permit with the SBSA and WBSD characterizes acceptable routine discharges to the sanitary sewer in terms of type and flow.

Application and Renewal

New Routine Discharges

The IW program manager must characterize all new routine discharges and add them to the permit.

Routine Discharges

The mandatory permit is issued for one year and may be renewed automatically for successive one-year terms for up to five years if all sampling, metering, and reporting stipulations are met (see below). In addition, a solvent management plan (SMP) is required pursuant to a permit modification issued by SBSA in April of 2001, which directed dischargers to generate such a plan in lieu of continued monitoring for total toxic organics (TTOs). For SLAC's SMP, see Industrial Wastewater: Solvent Management Plan [forthcoming].

The permit can be revised at any time for the purposes of protecting workers and sanitary sewer facilities and to accommodate new regulations that encompass the sewage treatment plant or the sanitary district.

Non-routine Discharges

Non-routine discharges require a non-routine permit. Approval for a wastewater discharge permit must occur prior to discharge and may include fees and constraints on quantity and timing of discharge. The IW program manager will assist process owners and personnel in

  • Characterizing non-routine wastewater
  • Applying for a non-routine discharge permit
  • Coordinating the discharge with the SBSA and WBSD


Wastewater volume is measured by meters located as required in order to

  • Monitor the total flow from the SLAC site (SLAC's contract with WBSD specifies a total industrial and sanitary flow; if this flow is exceeded, additional charges apply)
  • Monitor the volume discharged from the Metal Finishing Pretreatment Facility (MFPF)
  • Calculate total wastewater and constituents of concern entering the sanitary sewer (flow measurements together with sample analysis are the basis for total flow and total constituent calculations)

Meters are inspected, calibrated, and maintained by the Conventional and Experimental Facilities (CEF) Department.

Note: The volume of any radioactive water discharged to the sanitary sewer is reported to RP. Such discharges are tracked by RP to ensure that permit limits are not exceeded.


Sample collection frequency, constituent analysis, and reporting are specified in the permit. Samples are collected by the SBSA and SLAC, as indicated below.

SBSA Sampling Events

The SBSA monitors compliance by collecting quarterly composite and grab samples of SLAC's discharge into the sanitary sewer. Samples are analyzed for a variety of constituents, including metals and selected VOCs.

SLAC Sampling Requirements

SLAC's permit includes one location (MFPF) where potentially hazardous wastewater is treated prior to discharging to the sanitary sewer. Samples from this location must be analyzed for constituents of concern two times per year.

Radioanalysis of wastewater with known or suspected radiological analytes must be performed prior to discharge to the sanitary sewer in order to ensure that SLAC is within the permit's annual discharge limits.


Routine and accidental reporting requirements for SLAC's discharge permits and radioactive releases are itemized below. All reports are submitted to the SBSA and WBSD.

Mandatory Discharge Permit Reporting Requirements

SLAC is required to submit a semi-annual self-monitoring report to SBSA by January 31 and July 31 of each year that encompasses the conditions of the permit. This report also includes results from SLAC's semi-annual sampling event.

In addition, the SBSA requires a certification statement included in the self-monitoring report that states that

  • SLAC fully implements the SMP
  • No concentrated toxic organics were released to the sewer system during the six month reporting period.

Radioactive Releases Reporting Requirements

RP submits a quarterly report to the SBSA that provides radioanalysis results, volume of radioactive water released to the system, and total amount of radioactivity.

Accidental Release Reporting Requirements

  • All spills. All spills or discharges to the sanitary sewer system that violate permit conditions must be reported to the IW program manager, who will report the spill or discharge to the SBSA, as required.
  • Radioactive spills. Any releases containing radioactive water or constituents must be reported to RP in addition to reporting to the IW program manager.

Industrial Wastewater Best Management Practices

Best management practices (BMPs) are industry standards that are accepted by regulatory agencies as a way to protect the environment. Industrial wastewater BMPs are not mandatory, but their implementation is a key to SLAC staying within wastewater permit discharge limits.

Sanitary Sewer System


The sanitary sewer system must be maintained in compliance with the discharge permit. The Conventional and Experimental Facilities (CEF) Department will meet this responsibility.


All new connections to the system must be approved by CEF.

Note Connection of any process stream to the storm drain system is prohibited. (See Chapter 26, "Stormwater".)


The Chemical and General Safety (CGS) Department must review construction projects for potential to affect the system.


continue to Requirements, Roles & Responsibilities (5.1.7)

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