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The City’s Pretreatment program main objective is to protect the environment by limiting the amount of potentially toxic pollutants entering the Saint Johns River and biosolids applied on the land. The program also protect the health and safety of workers and sewage treatment plants from upsets by regulating industrial and commercial users that discharge treated wastes into the sewer system. The program focuses on discharge from non-domestic wastewater such as Industries, manufacturers and commercial establishment. Regulatory oversight of industrial sources by approved programs includes formal permitting, compliance monitoring (routine compliance inspections and sampling), and enforcement.

The term “pretreatment” refers to the requirement that non-domestic sources discharging wastewater to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) control their discharges, and meet limits established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of Florida and the City (Control Authority) on the amount of pollutants allowed to be discharged. The control of the pollutants may necessitate treatment prior to discharge to the POTW (therefore the term “pretreatment”). Limits may often be met by the non-domestic source through pollution prevention techniques (product substitution, recycle and reuse of materials, more efficient production practices, improved environmental management systems, etc.), pretreatment of wastewater, or implementation of best management practices. The regulations governing this program could be found under chapter 102 Sections 251 thru 435 of the City Code of Ordinance.

The Oil and Grease Prevention Program regulates food related and auto related facilities to ensure that they properly pretreat their wastewater prior to discharging to the City’s sanitary sewer system.  The Surcharge Program is also enforced under the Oil and Grease Prevention Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pretreatment Program

It is an EPA-mandated program that requires the City to regulate industrial and commercial discharges to City’s wastewater collection system, thereby reducing the amount of pollutants released into the environment from the City’s treatment plants.

Discharging certain substances into the sewer system could:

  • Interfere with the operation of the POTW by upsetting the biological process and killing the microorganisms needed for proper treatment.
  • Jeopardize the health and safety of collection system and POTW personnel – Clog sewer lines.
  • Be extremely dangerous if dumped in high concentrations
  • Mix with other chemicals to form toxic gasses.

The Clean Water Act established the responsibility for Federal, State, and local government to implement National Pretreatment Standards in order to control pollutants from non-domestic sources that discharge to a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs).

  • Flammable, reactive, corrosive, or radioactive substances
  • Medical or infectious wastes
  • Noxious materials
  • Toxic substances
  • Solid or viscous materials which could cause problems with flow or operation at the treatment plant
  • Non-biodegradable oils
  • Substances which result in the emission of hazardous gases
Pretreatment is not only driven by Federal regulation, but by State and Local regulations as well. The City of Sanford (City) conducts field surveys on a routine basis to insure compliance with these regulations.

The City makes every effort to maintain working partnerships with the regulated industries and commercial users, valuing information and compliance over enforcement as the best way to achieve mutually beneficial economic and environmental goals. However, if an industry remains non-compliant, that industry will be subject to enforcement action. The City utilizes a progressive enforcement response plan, with actions ranging from Notices of Violation (NOV) and citations to sewer or water service termination.

All non-domestic users under construction must complete a Wastewater Discharge Application at least 90 days prior to discharging to the City’s sanitary sewer.

Existing non-domestic users with the potential to discharge pollutants of concern must complete the Wastewater discharge Permit Application and return it to the City’s pretreatment coordinator within 30 days. Evaluation of the application is follow up with a site inspection to verify the information. The user will be notified if his type of business needs to have a wastewater discharge permit. The discharge permit will state the monitoring, reporting and compliance requirements that the User would be required to observe.

Pretreatment regulations apply to a variety of businesses discharging wastewater from industrial and commercial processes which have the potential to impact the receiving wastewater treatment facility or the health or safety of the public.

The Pretreatment program also works closely with many smaller types of businesses. While smaller businesses may not generate large quantities of waste, the cumulative impact of their wastes could have a big impact on City treatment plant operations.

Some of the commercial businesses of interest and pollutants they generate are restaurants (oil and grease discharges), photo processors (silver concentrations in fixer discharges), dentists (mercury from amalgam, silver from x-ray fixer, and radiator repair shops (copper, lead and zinc from radiator repair rinse water).

For more information please contact the Pretreatment Coordinator at 407.688.5000 ext. 5513 or  Environmental Coordinator at 407.688.5000 ext. 5512

Oil and Grease Prevention Program

The Oil and Grease Prevention Program is mandated via City Ordinance #4315, Chapter 102, Article IX, Division 5, Section 102-373 that requires all facilities with the potential to discharges fats, oils and greases (FOG) and/or petroleum products to install appropriate pretreatment devices including grease interceptors, grease traps and oil water separators.  The Program is designed to minimize the discharge of FOG and petroleum oils to the City’s sanitary sewer system, thereby reducing the risk of sanitary sewer overflows and issues at the wastewater treatment plants.

FOG is the number two cause of sanitary sewer overflows in the City of Sanford and throughout the United States.  Sanitary sewer overflows costs the City thousands of dollars yearly.  FOG is also difficult to remove during the wastewater treatment process which raises the costs for the Utility Department.   In an effort to reduce the overflows and elevated costs, the City implemented the O&GP in 2005. 

O&GPP regulations apply to a variety of businesses discharging wastewater from commercial facilities.  Facilities that produce FOG include restaurants, fast food establishments, hotels/motels, coffee shops, bars with cooking, convenience stores, hospitals, retirement homes, churches, meat markets and daycare facilities.  Facilities that produce petroleum products include automotive repair shops & service centers, automotive dealerships, carwashes, car rental agencies, equipment rental/maintenance facilities and paint & body shops.   Facilities that fall under these categories will be required to install and maintain an appropriately sized pretreatment device(s) which include a grease trap, grease interceptor and/or an oil water separator.  This includes facilities that discharge petroleum products via an employee/mechanic handwashing sink.  

Additionally, where feasible, facilities that qualify for the O&GPP must install a sampling manhole or another type of representative sample point (if no lift station is present) that receives flow from the pretreatment device as well as all other sources of wastewater onsite.  The sampling manhole/sample point/lift station will be used to collect samples annually as required by the Surcharge Program established in the City Ordinance (See Surcharge Program FAQ’s for further information on this program).

Yes.  A wastewater discharge permit must be obtained when a facility is initially added to the program and it must be renewed every two years.  The initial permit fee is $250 and the renewal fee is $150.  Additionally, an annual inspection is performed the year in between permit renewal and a $50 fee is applied directly to the facility’s Utility account.  Surcharge Program sampling fees will also be applied as needed.   Additional fees may be applied (as needed) for inspections at the facility in effort to obtain the required waste disposal manifests. 

The O&GPP is required by City Ordinance and all facilities that qualify must comply with program requirements. The City of Sanford conducts field surveys on a routine basis to ensure all facilities within City limits are in compliance with the ordinance.

The City makes every effort to maintain working partnerships with the facilities that qualify for the program, valuing information and compliance over enforcement as the best way to achieve mutually beneficial economic and environmental goals. However, if a facility remains non-compliant, that facility will be subject to enforcement action. The City utilizes a progressive enforcement response plan, with actions ranging from Notices of Violation (NOV) and citations to sewer or water service termination.

All non-residential facilities under construction or proposing to open within the City must complete a Wastewater Discharge Application prior to discharging to the City’s sanitary sewer.  Existing non-residential facilities with the potential to discharge FOG must complete the Wastewater Discharge Application and return it to the City’s Environmental Coordinator within the designated timeframe. The application will be evaluated and if needed a site inspection will be performed.  The application contact will be notified if the facility is required to obtain a wastewater discharge permit and install an appropriate pretreatment device. The discharge permit will explain all compliance requirements and designate the pretreatment device cleaning frequency.

There is an exception to the non-residential requirement.  Multifamily dwellings including condominiums, apartment buildings and apartment complexes under construction or proposing to build within the City will be required to install a grease interceptor and sampling manhole (if no lift station is present) and must comply with O&GP and Surcharge Program requirements.  Townhomes will be required to install and maintain a used cooking oil recycling center onsite. 

Only commercial facilities and multifamily dwellings are regulated under the O&GPP.  However, the City implemented a Fat Free Sewers public outreach program in an effort to educate residential locations on the detrimental impacts of fats, oils and greases in the City’s sewer system.  Further information on Fat Free Sewers program coming soon.

Yes, flushing/washing non-flushable items down toilets and sinks can wreak havoc on the City’s sewer system and cause back-ups and sanitary sewer overflows.  The City has implemented a Do Not Flush public outreach program in an effort to educate citizens on the detrimental impacts of non-flushable items in the City’s sewer system.  Further information on the Do Not Flush program coming soon.

For more information please contact the Environmental Coordinator at 407 688-5000 ext. 5512

Surcharge Program

It is an EPA-mandated program that requires the City to regulate industrial and commercial discharges to City’s wastewater collection system, thereby reducing the amount of pollutants released into the environment from the City’s treatment plants.

Discharging certain substances into the sewer system could:

  • Interfere with the operation of the POTW by upsetting the biological process and killing the microorganisms needed for proper treatment.
  • Jeopardize the health and safety of collection system and POTW personnel – Clog sewer lines.
  • Be extremely dangerous if dumped in high concentrations
  • Mix with other chemicals to form toxic gasses.

The Clean Water Act established the responsibility for Federal, State, and local government to implement National Pretreatment Standards in order to control pollutants from non-domestic sources that discharge to a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs).

  • Flammable, reactive, corrosive, or radioactive substances
  • Medical or infectious wastes
  • Noxious materials
  • Toxic substances
  • Solid or viscous materials which could cause problems with flow or operation at the treatment plant
  • Non-biodegradable oils
  • Substances which result in the emission of hazardous gases
Pretreatment is not only driven by Federal regulation, but by State and Local regulations as well. The City of Sanford (City) conducts field surveys on a routine basis to insure compliance with these regulations.

The City makes every effort to maintain working partnerships with the regulated industries and commercial users, valuing information and compliance over enforcement as the best way to achieve mutually beneficial economic and environmental goals. However, if an industry remains non-compliant, that industry will be subject to enforcement action. The City utilizes a progressive enforcement response plan, with actions ranging from Notices of Violation (NOV) and citations to sewer or water service termination.

All non-domestic users under construction must complete a Wastewater Discharge Application at least 90 days prior to discharging to the City’s sanitary sewer.

Existing non-domestic users with the potential to discharge pollutants of concern must complete the Wastewater discharge Permit Application and return it to the City’s pretreatment coordinator within 30 days. Evaluation of the application is follow up with a site inspection to verify the information. The user will be notified if his type of business needs to have a wastewater discharge permit. The discharge permit will state the monitoring, reporting and compliance requirements that the User would be required to observe.

Pretreatment regulations apply to a variety of businesses discharging wastewater from industrial and commercial processes which have the potential to impact the receiving wastewater treatment facility or the health or safety of the public.

The Pretreatment program also works closely with many smaller types of businesses. While smaller businesses may not generate large quantities of waste, the cumulative impact of their wastes could have a big impact on City treatment plant operations.

Some of the commercial businesses of interest and pollutants they generate are restaurants (oil and grease discharges), photo processors (silver concentrations in fixer discharges), dentists (mercury from amalgam, silver from x-ray fixer, and radiator repair shops (copper, lead and zinc from radiator repair rinse water).

For more information please contact the Pretreatment Coordinator at 407.688.5000 ext. 5513 or  Environmental Coordinator at 407.688.5000 ext. 5512