Industrial Discharge and Pre-treatment

Purpose of Program

The City of La Crosse has developed an Industrial pretreatment program to meet federal regulations. Industrial pretreatment is enforceable under both State and Federal law. The intent of the Industrial pretreatment program is:

Prevent the introduction of pollutants into the wastewater treatment system which will interfere with the operation of the treatment system or contaminate the sewage sludge or pass through the treatment system and harm the environment.

Prevent the introduction of pollutants into the treatment system which will improve opportunities to recycle and reclaim wastewaters and the sludge are resulting from wastewater treatment.

The costs of this program will be assessed to the industries discharging process wastewater through permit fees. By controlling discharges to the sanitary sewer.

Benefits to the City

More efficient operation of the wastewater treatment facility.

Due to increased efficiency, operational costs will be (slightly?) reduced.

Consistent compliance with its discharge permit can reduce cost for continued opportunity for land disposal of sewage sludge.

Categorical Standards:

Separate pretreatment standards established by national regulations specifying quantities or concentrations of pollutants or pollutant properties which may be discharged to a publicly owned treatment facility by existing or new industrial users in specific industrial subcategories

What Defines an Industry?

A facility that discharges a process wastewater to the sanitary sewer. This includes some businesses that are not ordinarily considered to be an "industry".

What is Pretreatment?

Partial treatment of wastewater to decrease the strength or remove some pollutants before it is discharged to the City sewer. The City has the legal authority to enforce the requirements of the pretreatment program under adopted ordinance. The ordinance must give the City the authority to do the following:

  • Deny if condition new or increased contributions of pollutants or changes in the nature of pollutants to the treatment system by industrial users if such contributions do not meet applicable Pretreatment Standards and Requirements or where such contributions would cause the treatment plant to violate its permit.
  • Control, through permit or similar means, the contribution to the treatment system by each industrial user to ensure compliance with applicable Pretreatment Standards and Regulations.
  • Carry out inspection, surveillance and monitoring procedures necessary to determine, independent of information supplied by industrial users, compliance or non-compliance with applicable Pretreatment Standards and Regulations. Representatives of the City must be authorized to enter any premises of any industrial user in which an effluent source or treatment system is located or in which records are required to be kept.

The City must have sufficient resources and qualified personnel to carry out the ordinance provisions and procedures described above. EPA requires that pretreatment costs be recovered from industrial users and any commercial users which may be dischargers of toxic pollutants. Note not all industries meet the criteria to be permitted. Some industries discharge to the City’s sewer systems without a permit.

We currently have 11 Industries that are permitted and can be found here. Industries that are currently permitted discharge waste that is higher in strength can be surcharged:

Surcharge per lb. Over Domestic Strength Sewage:
BOD ($/lb.)
TSS ($/lb.)
Phosphorus ($/lb.)
NH3-N ($/lb.)

Application for Wastewater Direct Discharge to Plant Permit

Application for Re-issuance of Wastewater Direct Discharge to Plant Permit

Surcharge Rates

Important Links