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Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permits
What is an Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit?
  • A permit that allows a facility to discharge wastewater to the sanitary sewer system within legal limits and specific conditions
  • A non-transferable permit that is issued to a individual user for a specific operation
  • A permit that is issued in either a standard or short-term version

Application Deadlines
NOTE: New permits must be issued by the expiration date of the current permit. Permit expiration dates cannot be extended. 
  • New Permits: Submit application 90 days PRIOR to planned discharge.
  • Existing Permits: Submit application 6 months PRIOR to expiration of current permit.
  • Significant Changes: Submit application 6 months prior to any significant change.

Significant Change
Significant Change is defined as one of the following:
  • 12 month average process flow rate increases or decreases by 25% from the previous 12 month period.
  • 12 month average process flow rates increases to at least 25,000 gallons per day or decreases below 25,000 gallons per day from the process flow rate from the previous 12 month period.
  • 12 month average process flow rates increases to at least 1,000 gallons per day or decreases below 1,000 gallons per day process flow rate from the previous 12 month period.
  • Addition/Removal of a process line or sample point

Standard Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit
Required by “Critical Users” or “Significant Industrial Users” and valid for a maximum of 5 years.
  • "Critical User" is a discharger whose wastewater contains priority pollutants, i.e., Pollutants of Concern or Corrosive Matter, or discharges in excess of one hundred thousand (100,000) gallons per day.
  • Significant Industrial User" refers to a facility that:
    • Has processes subject to categorical pretreatment standards from the Code of Federal Regulations Sections: 405-424 and 425-471. This also includes “Zero Discharge Categorical User,” an industrial facility that has any connection to the sanitary sewer system but does not discharge wastewater from the categorical process to the sanitary sewer.
    • Discharges an average of 25,000 gallons per day or more of process wastewater to the sanitary system (excluding sanitary, noncontact cooling and boiler blowdown wastewater)
    • Contributes a process waste stream which makes up five percent or more of the average dry weather hydraulic or organic capacity of the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility; or has a reasonable potential for adversely affecting the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility’s operation or for violating any pretreatment standard or requirement.

To apply
  • Complete a Wastewater Discharge Permit Application
  • Include an application fee, made payable to the City of San José:
    • $560 for less than 1,000 gallons per day 
    • $1,050 for 1,000 gallons per day or more
    • NOTE: Permitted facilities are also subject to Sewer Use Fees for actual volumes discharged.

Short Term (1 year) Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit
Required by temporary locations needing a sanitary sewer connection; valid for a maximum of one year.

Examples of projects that may require a short term discharge permit include:
  • Underground storage tank or gas station remediation
  • Water line or oil pipelines hydrostatic testing
  • Groundwater or stormwater remediation from contaminated sites
  • Dewatering from construction site to the sanitary sewer
  • Ponds, commercial pools, and other commercial manhole connections

To apply

Submittal Address for Applications
City of San José, Environmental Services
Watershed Protection - Environmental Engineering
200 E. Santa Clara Street, 7th Floor
San José, CA 95113

Phone: (408) 793-5300 or (408) 945-3000