Wastewater effluent from lab sinks is considered industrial wastewater, which typically requires a discharge permit with the local authority. pH neutralization systems are included – is yours permitted and overseen by a certified wastewater operator?
In accordance with 314 CMR 7, the operation of a wastewater pretreatment system, including pH neutralization systems, requires oversight from a certified wastewater operator (WWO). In order to become a certified WWO, candidates must pass an exam administered by New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), and subsequently submit an application to the Department of Environmental Protection. The specific requirements for WWO certification are stipulated in 257 CMR 2. To maintain their certification, certified WWOs are required to accumulate 20 Training Contact Hours (TCHs) during a two-year period, which ends December 31 of odd-numbered years. There are specific exemptions in both 314 CMR 7 and 257 CMR 2, so it is important to review the applicability of these regulations to your facility.
Once a WWO is certified, they are responsible for ensuring the wastewater pretreatment system is operating properly. The level of involvement is dependent upon the system, but daily documented checks to monitor flow and check for pH excursions are typical requirements. There are recordkeeping and reporting requirements that need to be followed to achieve full compliance.
Make sure your system is properly permitted and maintained to avoid regulatory fines for non-compliance and keep our waters clean.