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Pretreatment Inspections

San JosE is Required to Regulate Wastewater Discharges

As the control authority for the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility, the City is required by state, federal, and local laws to regulate the wastewater discharge of specified commercial and industrial users of the Plant.

The City Permits and Inspects Commercial and Industrial Facilities

The City’s Pretreatment Program permits and inspects approximately 300 commercial and industrial facilities in the Plant’s tributary area which includes the following cities and sanitary districts:

  • City of San José
  • City of Santa Clara
  • City of Milpitas
  • Cupertino Sanitary District (City of Cupertino)
  • West Valley Sanitation District (Cities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga)
  • County Sanitation districts 2 and 3
  • Burbank Sanitary District

Permitted Facilities Are Inspected Regularly

Generally, each facility is inspected two to four times per year, depending on the nature of the industry or type of discharge. The Pretreatment Program conducts the following types of inspections:

  • Permit Inspection – a special inspection conducted when a facility is initially permitted or the permit is renewed
  • Compliance Inspection – a routine inspection to determine compliance status and to identify practices which may lead to noncompliance
  • Sampling Inspection – a routine inspection performed during City sampling
  • Enforcement Inspection – a non-routine inspection completed to investigate the cause of or response to violations
  • Closure Inspection – a special inspection conducted when a discharger is in the process of closing or is removing a regulated process

Is the Facility in Compliance?

Inspectors determine if a facility is in compliance with their permit by reviewing:

  • Production processes
  • Wastewater treatment processes
  • Monitoring equipment
  • Hazardous material and waste storage areas
  • Documentation and records
  • Housekeeping

Tips to Prepare for an Inspection

  • Ensure appropriate personnel are onsite during all shifts to meet with an inspector.
  • Keep all required records, documents, and procedures up-to-date and ready for review.
  • Ensure all monitoring equipment (pH meters, pH chart recorders, flow meters, etc.) is working properly.
  • Label all piping as to contents and flow direction.
  • Ensure hazardous materials and waste are properly labeled and stored in secondary containment.
  • Maintain good housekeeping at all times.