The pretreatment program regulates industrial facilities discharging wastewater to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). These facilities, known as industrial users, discharge process wastewater often contaminated by a variety of toxic or otherwise harmful substances. Because POTWs are usually not specifically designed to treat these substances, pretreatment programs are needed to eliminate potentially serious problems that occur when these substances are discharged into public sewer systems.
The pretreatment program is mandated under the federal Clean Water Act and U.S. EPA has delegated the program to Ohio for implementation. At Ohio EPA, the Pretreatment Unit is responsible for implementing the pretreatment program. Since local sewer control is best handled at the local level, Ohio EPA delegates program responsibilities to local governments, but also directly regulates industries when local governement is unable to perform the role effectively or is not mandated to have an approved pretreatment program. The Unit's implementation philosophy is to work in partnership with local government, providing support and technical expertise, to help build capacity at the local level.