Feb 19, 2019

Three Georgia Manufacturers Violate Wastewater Pretreatment Standards

The three companies are working to resolve wastewater pretreatment non-compliance issues

Three industrial plants fail wastewater pretreatment standards
Three industrial plants fail wastewater pretreatment standards

The city of Cartersville, Ga., announced that three of its industrial manufacturers were in “significant non-compliance” of wastewater pretreatment standards in 2018. According to city records, Toyo Tire, Innovative Chemical Technologies and Doehler North America all faced non-compliance violations for 2018.

Toyo Tire exceeded technical review criteria for oil and grease releases in all three 2018 review periods. Innovative Chemical Technologies exceeded technical review criteria for zinc releases from January to June 2018. Additionally, Doehler North America exceeded technical review criteria for copper release and chronic biochemical oxygen (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) measurements for all three review periods, according to The Daily Tribune News. The standards exist to protect wastewater plans from being overloaded, said the city of Cartersville Water Department Director Bob Jones.

“It’s a biological system just like we are biological systems,” Jones said. “Conventional pollutants like BOD, [total suspended solids] and COD are regulated for that reason, because the plant  can only take in and process so many of them over a given period of time.”

The city’s pretreatment wastewater limits are set by the state and the water department monitors industries on a monthly basis. The municipality also uses biosolids as fertilizers on agricultural lands, but must continue copper and zinc levels for agricultural purposes as well, Jones said.

A significant non-compliance warning, like Toyo Tire, Innovative Chemical Technologies and Doehler North America received, is specifically for users who incur multiple violations over a yearly review period. The city opts to take a progressive response to significant non-compliance warnings by requiring violators to turn in a written plan of action that details corrective steps.

“Now, for somebody who’s got a more chronic problem, what usually is the case is they have either had a process change or some type of new chemical added to the process that they did not anticipate being a problem,” Jones said. “Occasionally, it requires engineering, it requires purchase of equipment, installations, the building of facilities, that will take a significant amount of time.”

While the city is able to fine users in non-compliance of wastewater standards, the city rarely enacts a fine. In response to the violations, Toyo Tire is working to modify their wastewater treatment process, Innovative Chemical Technologies is investigating their issues and Doehler North America is building a new wastewater pretreatment facility, reported The Daily Tribune News.

“Our industrial community here is generally very cooperative once they’re made aware of the problem and why it is a problem,” Jones said.