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NPDES Primer for Executive Officers of Wastewater Facilities. Indiana Department of Environmental Management Office of Water Quality Compliance Branch. Presented by. Rick Roudebush Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management July 17, 2006. Important Acronyms to Know .

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NPDES Primer for Executive Officers of Wastewater Facilities

Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Office of Water Quality

Compliance Branch


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Presented by

Rick Roudebush

Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management

July 17, 2006


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Important Acronyms to Know

  • IDEM = Indiana Department of Environmental Management

  • NPDES = National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, permit regulating a point source to discharge into waters of the United States

  • DMR = Federal Discharge Monitoring Report

  • MRO = State Monthly Report of Operations

  • CSO = Combined Sewer Overflow (storm and sanitary sewer drains)


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When in Doubt…

Call IDEM !

  • Toll-free Enviroline: 1-800-451-6027

  • Indianapolis: (317) 232-8670

  • North West Office, Merrillville: (219) 757-0265

  • North Central Office, South Bend: (574) 245-4870

  • South West Office, Petersburg: (812) 380-2305


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Direct Contacts:

  • Wastewater Inspectors

    • Section Chief: (317) 234-2579

  • Operator Assistance

    • Phil Preston: (317) 232-8728

  • Bypass/Overflow/Compliance

    • Gary Starks: (317) 232-8694

  • Operator Certification

    • Heather Tippey-Pierce: (317) 233-0479


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    Know what’s going on !

    You can delegate the authority to sign and submit reports, but you can NOT delegate your responsibility.

    You are responsible for what is going on at your treatment plant.


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    Certified Operators

    • Every plant must be under the supervision of an operator holding a valid certification.

    • Notify IDEM when you change operators.

    • Have clear roles, duties and communication between owner and operator.

    • Many violations are the result of poorly defined duties and expectations between the facility owner and the operator.


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    Monthly Reports

    • Permit requires submittal of two (2) reports

    • Federal Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR)

    • State Monthly Report of Operations (MRO)

    • Certified operator completes and signs the MRO while the designated official signs the federal DMR and the MRO.

    • Must be post-marked by the 28th of the month following sampling.


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    Laboratory Testing

    • Operator is responsible for the collecting of water samples for testing to determine whether you are meeting effluent limits.

    • Also samples flow coming into the plant and at various stages of the treatment process to evaluate and adjust treatment plant operations to meet the permit limits.


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    Records Retention

    • All records and information resulting from monitoring activities as required by the permit, shall be retained for a minimum of 3 years.

    • In cases where the original records are kept at another location, a copy of all such records shall be kept at the facility.

    • IDEM inspectors will ask to review these.


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    Compliance Schedules

    • Permits or Agreed Orders may have compliance schedules.

    • Compliance schedules require completion of activities and submittal of written reports to IDEM on a planned timetable.

    • It is your responsibility to make sure the required activities occur and for submitting all required reports to IDEM.


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    Operation & Maintenance

    • Treatment plants and collection systems must be maintained in good working order and efficiently operated.

    • Adequate staffing by duly qualified personnel must be provided to carry out the operation, maintenance and testing functions to ensure permit compliance.


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    Sludge Disposal

    • Sludge (Biosolids) must be routinely removed from the treatment plant.

    • Strict requirements regarding sludge disposal must be documented.

    • Notify IDEM prior to any changes in sludge use or disposal activities.


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    Bypass/Overflow Reporting

    Any discharge from a sanitary or combined sewer system other than a permitted CSO event must be reported to IDEM by telephone, (317) 232-8694, within 24 hours and in writing within 5 days.


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    Most people meet both of these requirements by faxing in a written report on IDEM’s fax form within the first 24 hours.This form can be found at:http://www.in.gov/icpr/webfile/formsdiv/48373.doc


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    If there is a significant danger to human health or the environment, it must immediately be reported to IDEM’s spill line: (888) 233-7745.

    ! Health Hazards !


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    If excessive discharges are occurring then enforcement actions may be initiated.Failure to properly report any overflow is considered a serious violation and is likely to result in immediate enforcement action!

    Bypass Consequences


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    Collection Systems actions may be initiated.

    • Require regular ongoing maintenance.

    • Most common problem is excessive clear water getting into the sewer.

    • Frequent source of clear water is illegal connection of sump pumps and roof drains to the sanitary sewer by homeowners.


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    Penalties actions may be initiated.

    • Violations may result in monetary fines.

    • Responsible parties knowingly making false statements or falsifying written reports (letters, DMRs, MROs, etc.) may result in both fines and imprisonment of the individual.


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    Permit Renewal actions may be initiated.

    • NPDES Permit renewal applications must be submitted six months prior to the expiration date of the current permit.

    • IDEM regularly sends out renewal notices to pending facilities 10 months prior to the permit expiration date.


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    WWTP & Records Access actions may be initiated.

    Advance notice of inspections not provided by IDEM under normal circumstances.

    You must make arrangements for our inspectors to have access to your facility and records during normal working hours.


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    Annual Fees actions may be initiated.

    Every permitted facility will receive an annual permit fee bill according to the Indiana State Rules.

    Most facilities have a standard base fee amount according to the facility classification plus a flow based amount.

    Annual bills are mailed in early January and are due 60 days after the bill date.

    Late fees will be applied after 60 days with failure to pay leading to enforcement action.


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    Common Reporting Problems actions may be initiated.

    Federal DMR arrives at IDEM late. DMRs must be postmarked by the 28th of the month following the month in which the sampling occurred.

    If you have problems please document them either in the comments section at the bottom of the DMR form and\or in an attached letter.


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    DMR is not fully completed actions may be initiated.

    Not checking the “No Discharge” box when applicable

    Leaving blank spaces (open boxes)


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    Authorization incomplete actions may be initiated.

    • No signature

    • No date signed

    • No telephone number for signatory authority

    • Signature is not of person registered with IDEM as having the authority to sign.


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    Required Forms actions may be initiated.

    IDEM has a variety of state forms for different types of wastewater plants. These may be referenced as:

    • Monthly Report of Operations (MRO)

    • Monthly Monitoring Reports

    • State Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMR)

      Every facility is required to submit state forms along with the required federal DMR forms.


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    Incomplete \ Missing MRO actions may be initiated.

    • No flows listed, but effluent samples reported

    • No influent data

    • No Certified Operator signature

    • No Authorized Official signature

    • No Certified Operator certification number

    • No date

    • Form not submitted with DMR

    • Self-generated forms are missing fields


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    Incorrect DMR form submitted actions may be initiated.

    • DMR from wrong month – Bar Code

    • Self-generated DMR form errors:

      • Incorrect parameter codes

      • Missing parameter or other key elements

      • Poor organization or placement

      • Wrong bar code


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    Data Calculation\ Reporting Errors actions may be initiated.

    • MRO data was not correctly transferred to DMR

    • Incorrect calculation methods used for averages, percent removals, geometric means, etc.…

    • If only one sample is taken in a monitoring period, failure to report that value as both the monthly average and maximum.

    • Using units other than those required by the permit.


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    The End actions may be initiated.