Industrial Pretreatment

Water Quality Protection

The Pretreatment Program is a cooperative effort of State, Federal, and local regulatory agencies established to protect water quality. Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 403, provides the regulatory basis to require non-domestic discharges to comply with pretreatment standards.

The program helps prevent the pollutants that can cause damages or pass through our wastewater treatment plants from entering the publicly owned treatment works (POTW).


The purpose of the Industrial Pretreatment Program is to:
  • Protect the POTW 
  • Protect health and safety 
  • Prevent non-compliance with permits 
  • Protect receiving waters 
  • Improve opportunities for wastewater and bio solids reuse 

Permit Requirements

Users subject to permitting are classified as:
  • Significant Industrial User (SIU) is one who is one of the following:
    • Is subject to USEPA categorical pretreatment standards 
    • Discharges 25,000 gallons per day or more of process wastewater 
    • Contributes a process waste stream that makes up 5% or more of the average dry weather hydraulic or organic capacity of the treatment plant 
    • Has the potential to adversely affect the treatment plant 
  • Categorical Industrial User (CIU) is one who is one of the following:
    • Has an industrial activity that is regulated by - (40 CFR Parts 401-424 and 425-471) 
    • Discharges process wastewater 
    • Is assigned pretreatment limitations and/or reporting requirements 
    • A CIU must comply with categorical pretreatment standards and local limits 


Industrial Pretreatment Ordinance No. 1824


New businesses complete an industrial pretreatment questionnaire, prior to connecting to the sewer system. The City evaluates each business to determine if a permit is required.

Categorical Pretreatment Standards

There are limitations on pollutant discharges issued by the USEPA through the Clean Water Act.  They are national, technology-based standards that apply regardless of whether or not a permit is issued.

Local Limits

Local Limits are developed to reflect specific needs and capabilities of the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) and are designed to protect the receiving water. The City of Sugar Land local limits are listed under City Ordinance. 


Enforcement actions can range from a telephone call notice, non-compliance letters to the issuance of a civil penalty.  For severe and repetitive cases the City can stop sewer services.