Industrial Pretreatment Program

The Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP) was established in 1986 to protect the integrity of the sewer collection system, ensure proper operation of the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (SRWTF), and prevent the introduction of harmful pollutants into the treatment system. The IPP accomplishes this by maintaining a current list of industrial users in the service area and by conducting inspections to evaluate compliance with the program. The IPP jurisdiction extends over the eight municipalities that use the services of the SRWTF: Agawam, Chicopee (portion), East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Springfield, West Springfield, and Wilbraham.

What is the IPP?

The IPP permits, monitors and regulates a variety of industries in order to protect Commission treatment facilities and the Connecticut and Chicopee Rivers from the discharge of harmful contaminants.

Industries that are typically regulated are:

  • Electroplaters, metal finishers
  • Chemical Manufacturers
  • Machine Shops
  • Laboratories
  • Hospitals
  • Laundromats
  • Restaurants
  • Other firms that are tied into the Commission’s sewer system.

For more information on the history of Pretreatment Programs, please read EPA’s National Pretreatment Program, 1973-2003: Thirty Years of Protecting the Environment.

The IPP conducts audits, compliance monitoring inspections, and demand monitoring inspections. The purpose of the audit inspections is to collect and confirm information concerning an industrial user and its regulated processes and to evaluate the industry’s compliance with the applicable pretreatment standards and regulations. The IPP is primarily concerned with identifying the wastewater pollutant pathways through the industrial user, evaluating the effectiveness of pretreatment and/or monitoring systems and verify that residue associated with the removal of wastewater pollutants is disposed properly.

The IPP is financed through a special reserve fund that is supported through wastewater discharge permit fees. Costs associated with the operation of the IPP are recovered from the permitted facilities on a proportional share basis.

Why is the IPP Necessary?

Discharging certain substances into the sewer system can:

  • interfere with the operation of the wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) by upsetting the biological process and killing the microorganisms needed for proper treatment
  • Jeopardize the health and safety of Commission personnel.
  • Clog sewer lines
  • Be extremely dangerous if dumped in high concetrations.
  • Mix with other chemicals to form toxic gases.

WWTFs are not designed to remove heavy metals, cyanide or other toxic chemicals. Approximately 40 to 60 percent of these substances can settle out of the wastewater and into the sludge, contaminating it and preventing its reuse, while the remainder empties into the receiving waters.

Once this happens, marine life is exposed to toxic substances, which may enter the food chain and can eventually affect people. In addition, these toxins can prevent the Commission from meeting its effluent limits that are established by EPA and MADEP.

To control toxic discharges at the source, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that the Commission implement a Pretreatment Program.

How do I apply for an IPP Permit?

To apply for a pretreatment permit (new or renewal), fill out a Wastewater Discharge Permit Application and mail or hand deliver to the Commission’s IPP Program at 71 Colton Street in Springfield. Instructions for completing the application are included. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to download this PDF file.

For new industrial users who are unsure if they are subject to the IPP, the Wastewater Survey for Non-Residential Establishments should be filled out and returned to the IPP program at 71 Colton Street in Springfield. Based on the information provided, we will determine if the discharge is subject to the IPP, and then a permit application must be completed.

The IPP also issues Temporary Discharge Permits (TDPs) to facilities that have either one-time or infrequent industrial wastewater discharges. The TDP also has both general and specific discharge standards, and special monitoring and reporting standards. TDPs are often used for site remediation projects or hydrostatic tests on storage tanks. Users seeking a TDP should complete the Temporary Discharge Application Form and return it to the IPP program at 71 Colton Street in Springfield.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Commission at 413-310-3449 or IPP@waterandsewer.org.