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Staff in the King County Industrial Waste program provide the following services:
KCIW issues five types of approvals to discharge waste to our system:
- Verbal Authorization
- Letters of Authorization
- Minor Discharge Authorization
- Major Discharge Authorization
- Discharge Permit
The type of permit we issue depends on:
- The type of industrial process
- Volume of water being sent to the sewer
- Whether the discharge will be short or long-term
Businesses are required to collect samples of their wastewater and send in the results to KCIW. We conduct about 400 inspections each year and collect 1600 samples for analysis.
On our website, you will find technical assistance resources, back issues of our semi-annual newsletter, and fact sheets. You can also sign up to receive our newsletter in your email box.
Our Rewards and Recognition Program recognizes industrial wastewater dischargers in King County that meet or exceed wastewater discharge permit requirements.
Many companies must pretreat their wastewater before they put it into the sanitary sewer system and comply with reporting, monitoring, and discharge requirements. Companies that violate the rules receive penalties. KCIW is required to publish the names and violations of companies who are in “significant noncompliance” and/or receiving fines in a local newspaper. Our goal is to get companies back into compliance so they do not cause further harm.
- Our team researches the potential effect of growing industries on the wastewater system. We do this to try and get ahead of any new discharges that might prevent our system from working to protect human health and the environment.
- Investigate problems identified by our treatment plants when they discover abnormal amounts of chemicals or other problem substances in the wastewater coming to the plants.
Is my business a discharger of industrial wastewater?
If your company or facility sends wastewater to the King County sewer system during manufacturing, remediation, cleaning, or rinsing processes, it is most likely industrial wastewater* and is subject to local, state and federal regulations, and you will be required to get discharge approval from the King County Industrial Waste Program.
*This waste differs from residential household wastewater which includes domestic sewage from toilets, showers, washing machines, and other activities.
What are the penalties for discharging industrial wastewater without following law?
Managing wastewater properly is good for the water, the environment, and community health - and for businesses within the community. The Industrial Waste Program conducts enforcement activities for polluters as a deterrent to the high costs of polluting.
Businesses or individuals who illegally discharge substances to the King County sewer system must pay for any damages and may be fined up to $10,000 per day per violation. Companies or facilities may also be charged for increased monitoring of their discharges and may be required to install upgraded equipment.
Any business or facility receiving a fine will have its name and polluting activities published and prominently displayed in an advertisement in the King County newspaper with the highest distribution.