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Pretreatment Program

The Pretreatment program sets certain requirements and restrictions on dischargers of wastewater to the County sewer system including industries, commercial establishments, and institutions. For example, an industry may be required to limit the quantity of a specific pollutant it discharges to the sewer system. As a result, the industry may have to pretreat its wastewater before it is discharged.
The purpose of the Pretreatment Program is to control the types of wastewater discharged to the County sewer system to:
  • Protect water quality
  • Protect both the public and County personnel
  • Prevent interference with operation of County wastewater systems
  • Prevent contamination of the sludges produced at County wastewater treatment plants which would limit sludge disposal alternatives.
The Pretreatment Program is also required to ensure Compliance with United States Environmental Protection Agency Regulations.
All discharges to the County sewer system must meet the Pretreatment Program requirements including industries, commercial establishments, and institutions. Discharges of hauled waste such as septage haulers are also included.
The Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works has the primary responsibility for administering the Pretreatment Program Manager within the Department coordinates program activities.
General discharge prohibitions must be met by all dischargers to the County sewer system. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Flammable or explosive materials, e.g., gasoline, kerosene, etc.
  • Solid or viscous materials which may obstruct the flow in the County sewers, e.g., sand, rags, plastics, etc.
  • Grease and oil
  • Wastewater having a pH lower than 6.0 or higher than 10.0, e.g., acids or alkalis
  • Toxic substances which could be a health hazard or interfere with wastewater treatment System
  • Any unpolluted water, e.g., roof runoff, groundwater, etc.
This is only a partial listing of prohibited discharges. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Pretreatment Program Manager. Also, specific discharge limitations may be set by the Department of Public Works for dischargers who could significantly impact the County system.
In general, residences which discharge to the County sewer system will not be affected by the Pretreatment Program. However, residences must meet the general discharge prohibitions discussed above. If anyone has a question concerning whether a specific material can be discharged to the County sewer system, they should contact the Pretreatment Program Manager.
Commercial, industrial, and institutional dischargers may have to meet specific discharge requirements depending on the characteristics of their wastewater. If the discharger is determined by the County to have a potentially significant impact on the County system, the discharger will have to meet additional requirements including periodic wastewater testing and reporting to the County.  Commercial establishments such as restaurants which produce significant quantities of grease and oil will also be required to periodically report to the County. The discharge and reporting requirements for non-residential dischargers will be specified in wastewater discharge permits which must be obtained by all nonresidential dischargers. Additional information on requirements for commercial, industrial, and institutional dischargers can be obtained by contacting the Pretreatment Program Manager.
Pretreatment Program costs are recovered by permit fees and by annual fees charged to significant industrial dischargers and to commercial establishments which produce significant quantities of grease and oil. Residences do not pay any of the Pretreatment Program costs.
Violations of Pretreatment Program requirements can result in a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation or a criminal penalty resulting in imprisonment for not more than six months and or fine no less than $1,000. 
For additional information concerning the Pretreatment Program Manager at (410) 222-8818, or write to:
Pretreatment Program Manager
Anne Arundel County Bureau of Utilities Operation
437 Maxwell Frye Road
Suite D
Millersville, MD  21108

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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000