Business Regulations for Wastewater Discharge

Business owners should understand the regulations that apply to their wastewater discharge and comply with applicable regulations and standards.

Domestic Dischargers

Businesses that discharge wastewater only from restrooms or hand sinks are considered Domestic Dischargers. They are responsible for ensuring that no prohibited discharges are introduced to the sewer system from their facility. This level of regular domestic use is not regulated.

Minor Industrial Users

Businesses that discharge wastewater containing nondomestic pollutants must abide by prohibiting discharges as listed in the Sewer Use Ordinance and follow industry-specific Best Management Practices (BMPs) to keep their wastewater as clean as reasonably possible.

BMPs can prevent the release of pollutants that can damage the sewers or the treatment plant, cause the plant to release pollutants that violate its Permit or endanger wastewater personnel.

For example, restaurants that do not adequately maintain their grease interceptors can cause grease clogs in the sewer resulting in sewer backups into streets or basements. Auto repair shops that do not properly dispose of used solvents can cause explosion hazards in the sewer or plant headworks. Car wash operations that use acidic cleaners and do not adequately neutralize their wastewater before discharge can cause acid damage to the sewers.

Significant Industrial Users

The Town of Brownsburg requires all Significant Industrial Users to obtain a Wastewater Discharge Permit.

A Significant Industrial User is:

  • A user subject to categorical pretreatment standards as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. By their nature, these processes generate pollutants that, if unregulated, can disrupt treatment processes, pass through the plant unchanged and pollute the river, or create hazardous conditions in the sewer or treatment plant.
  • A user that:
    • Discharges an average of 25,000 gallons per day or more of process wastewater to the sewer (excluding sanitary, noncontact cooling, and boiler blowdown wastewater); or
    • Contributes a process waste stream which makes up 5% or more of the average dry weather hydraulic or organic capacity of our treatment plant. "Organic capacity" means the treatment plant's capacity to treat wastewater as opposed to the "hydraulic capacity" or capability to accept and handle fluids; or
    • It is designated as such by the plant's superintendent because it has a reasonable potential to harm the plant's operation, adverse impact on the Town's ability to comply with its operating Permit, cause the plant to violate any pretreatment standard or requirement, or because of other regulatory control needs. (Source: 40 CFR §403.3(v))

Plant staff inspect such permitted businesses, sample their wastewater discharges, and work with them to protect the environment, the wastewater treatment plant, and personnel.

Direct Dischargers

Any industry that discharges wastewater directly to a river or other surface water (Direct Dischargers) must apply for and comply with a Discharge Permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.