Industrial Pretreatment Program
Protecting Our Water
All Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) that have a design capacity of 5 million gallons per day (or more) are required to implement an Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP). The purpose of the IPP is to regulate industrial users' waste streams in an effort to prevent discharges that have the potential to inhibit or damage the POTW treatment process.
The microorganisms that are essential to the POTW treatment process are sensitive to environmental factors including various industrial pollutants. If the microorganisms health is compromised, the contents of the sanitary sewer collection system have the potential to drain into the Cuyahoga River without proper treatment. This would be harmful to the river ecosystem. Discharging untreated wastewater into the Cuyahoga River is a violation of the POTW's National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and could result in the City of Kent being subject to administrative actions (including fines) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
It is also important to recognize that the bio-solids separated from the waste water stream have the potential to be contaminated with a variety of industrial pollutants. Bio-solids that meet EPA standards are a valuable resource to land reclamation programs. However bio-solids that are contaminated with harmful industrial waste are a liability and must be disposed of in a hazardous waste management facility.
Duties & Goals
The IPP Coordinator regulates Kent industrial users by issuing Wastewater Discharge Permits (WDP), investigating illicit discharges, and monitoring both permitted and non-permitted industrial users by means of sampling, surveying, and conducting inspections.
It is the goal of the Kent IPP to eliminate harmful industrial wastes, while remaining "industry friendly" when possible.
City of Kent Mercury Minimization Program
The Ohio EPA also requires Kent to develop and maintain a Mercury Minimization Program. This includes identifying mercury discharges at their sources and using administrative enforcement measures to minimize the quantity of mercury contributed to the POTW. The dental practices that contribute mercury amalgam to the Kent POTW have been very cooperative (and even proactive) to minimize mercury discharges. All contributing dental practices have either installed amalgam separators or are scheduled to do so in the near future.