The Bureau of Water Quality’s pretreatment program is federally mandated through the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to ensure the safe and effective operation of Muncie’s Water Pollution Control Facility and to protect the quality of its receiving stream, the White River.
Publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities are designed to remove pollution from residential wastewater; however, many facilities, including Muncie’s Water Pollution Control Facility, also accept wastewater from local industries whose processes involve uniquely toxic compounds. If these compounds were discharged to the treatment plant in sufficient quantities they could interfere with the treatment facility, pass through the treatment facility into the White River, or accumulate in the treatment facility’s sewage sludge. The Bureau serves as the local Control Authority responsible for ensuring that local industries comply with the regulatory requirements of the EPA, IDEM, and Muncie’s local Pretreatment Ordinance to prevent these types of problems. Major responsibilities of the program include:
- permitting industries
- sampling and analyzing industrial wastewater
- requiring industries to self-monitor their wastewaters
- requiring industries to implement spill response plans and pollution prevention (P2) management plans
- sampling and analyzing the MWPCF’s influent, effluent, and biosolids
- sampling and analyzing the MWPCF’s receiving stream
Industrial compliance is maintained primarily through cooperation; however, the Bureau has the authority to issue enforcement actions including administrative orders, fines, and/or the termination of service to the MWPCF.