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Required Permit and Reporting

Section 64.30 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code is the Industrial Waste Control Ordinance. It states that industrial facilities and certain commercial facilities which plan to discharge industrial wastewater to the City's sewage collection and treatment system are required to first obtain an industrial wastewater permit. The permit protects the City’s sewer collection and treatment systems and prevents regulated toxic wastewater constituents from passing through to receiving waters and recovered bio-solids.

INDUSTRIAL WASTEWATER

Industrial Wastewater is any water carrying waste other than domestic wastewater. Wastewater generated from household type operations performed at commercial establishments for commercial purposes is industrial wastewater.

The Industrial Waste Management Division (IWMD) should be contacted to determine if a permit is required. Building permits, plumbing permits, and sewer connection permits do not constitute industrial wastewater permits. You can get these permits from the Department of Building and Safety.

industrial wastewater

HOW TO OBTAIN AN INDUSTRIAL WASTEWATER PERMIT

To obtain an industrial wastewater permit you must submit a completed application and pay the associated application fee.  Permit applications are reviewed and processed by IWMD staff to establish discharge limitations, monitoring, and reporting requirements.

Upon receipt of the permit application, an industrial waste inspector will do the following:

  • Inspect the facility.
  • Verify that the information provided in the permit application is complete and accurate.
  • Identify all wastewater generating processes, methods of wastewater conveyance, and pretreatment systems.

 
The permit conveys the conditions, obligations, and responsibilities under which an industrial user is permitted to discharge industrial wastewater to the sewer system. The industrial user should read and fully understand the permit requirements.

Permit requirements are determined based on the type and volume of industrial wastewater discharged. For example, some facilities are required to periodically sample and monitor the wastewater and submit reports, which may include technical reports, notification of discharges, and periodic compliance reports.

There are two types of discharge limitations by which industrial users of the City sewer system must comply - Local Limits and Federal Limits. Local limits as specified in the Industrial Waste Control Ordinance are established specifically to protect the City's treatment plants. Local limits apply to all types of industries. Federal limits apply only to facilities with federally regulated processes and are implemented uniformly throughout the nation. Federal limits may be more stringent than those imposed by the City's local limits.

In addition to the local and federal limitations, the Industrial Waste Control Ordinance and the 40 CFR 403 Federal Pretreatment Regulations contain a list of prohibited wastes, which must not be discharged to the sewer in any amount. Examples of prohibited wastes include flammable, reactive, explosive, corrosive, toxic, infectious, noxious, solid, or radioactive substances. A complete list of prohibited wastes is included in the Industrial Wastewater permit.

PLEASE NOTE: Industrial wastewater permits are not transferable. Whenever a change in ownership of a business occurs, the new company must submit a new permit application.

how to obtain permit

Businesses classified as Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) have more stringent requirements than other types of businesses. A SIU is a discharger that meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Subject to Federal Categorical Pretreatment Standards.
  • Discharges 25,000 gallons or more per day of process wastewater.
  • Designated to have a reasonable potential to adversely affect the operation of the City's wastewater treatment plants.

SIUs are further classified as Categorical Industrial Users (CIUs) if subject to federal discharge limitations developed by the EPA for different industrial categories. The EPA has developed regulations for over twenty industrial categories.

Examples of facilities classified as CIUs include:
  • Electroplating shops
  • Steam electric power plants
  • Pharmaceutical facilities

In addition to the federal discharge limitations, CIUs are subject to the City's local limits.

All other SIUs are classified as Non-Categorical Significant Industrial Users (NCSIUs) and are subject to the City's local limits only. All SIUs are subject to monitoring and reporting requirements to assess and assure compliance with the applicable discharge limitations.
More about PRETREATMENT PROGRAM FOR SIGNIFICANT INDUSTRIAL USERS

All permitted facilities not classified as SIUs are defined as Local Industrial Users (LIUs). LIUs are subject to the City's local limits and the permit requirements are not as extensive as the SIUs. Examples of facilities classified as LIUs include:

  • Automotive repair and maintenance shops
  • Laboratories
  • Medical and dental offices
  • Restaurants
More about PRETREATMENT PROGRAMS FOR LOCAL INDUSTRIAL USERS

WHO DOES NOT NEED AN INDUSTRIAL WASTEWATER PERMIT? 

 

An industrial wastewater permit is not required for the following dischargers or discharges to the collection system:

  • A Food Service Establishment (FSE) that does not potentially generate fats, oils and grease (FOG) during food preparation processes, and does not significantly affect the sewage collection and treatment system, does not need a permit. However, the FSE must implement and demonstrate compliance with Best Management Practices requirements as specified in the Rules and Regulations Governing the Discharge of Industrial Wastewater.
  • Bleed off or blow down from cooling towers, evaporation condensers or other recirculating water devices with rated capacity of 25 tons or less.
  • Self-service laundries with washing machines of 20 pounds maximum capacity. With further allowance that individual self-service laundries may have a maximum of two machines with maximum of 50 pound capacity.
  • Discharges from establishments where the industrial wastewater discharge is less than 200 gallons per day and treatment of this waste is not required before its discharge to the sewer.

 

 

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY FAQs


Q: What is industrial waste management?

A: Industrial Waste Management (IWMD) is a Division within LA Sanitation which monitors, regulates, and controls industrial wastewater discharges to the City's wastewater collection and treatment system.

 

Q: What is industrial wastewater?

A: Industrial wastewater is a waste-bearing water other than domestic wastewater. Industrial wastewater is generated from manufacturing, commercial or other operations not excluding household type operations performed at commercial establishments for or to support commercial purposes.

 

Q: Who needs to obtain an industrial wastewater permit?

A: Industrial facilities and certain commercial facilities which plan to discharge industrial wastewater to the City's sewer collection and treatment system are required to first obtain an industrial wastewater permit. IWMD is to be contacted to determine if a permit is required. Building permits, plumbing permits and sewer connection permits do not constitute industrial wastewater permits and must be obtained separately.


Q: How do I apply for an industrial wastewater permit?

A: To obtain an industrial wastewater permit you must submit a completed application and pay the associated application fee of $479. For permit application and assistance, please contact IWMD at 323-342-6200.


Q: Is an industrial wastewater permit transferable?
A: Industrial wastewater permits are not transferable from one company or person to another. Whenever a change in ownership of a business occurs, the new company must obtain a new permit.


Q: Who qualifies for an exemption from an industrial wastewater permit?
A: An Industrial Wastewater Permit is not required for the following dischargers or discharges to the sewer system:
 

  • Bleed-off or blow-down from cooling towers, evaporation condensers or other recirculating water devices with rated capacity of 25 tons or less.
  • Self-service laundries with washing machines of 20 pounds maximum capacity, with further allowance that the facility may also have a maximum of two machines with maximum 50-pound capacity of each.
  • Discharges from establishments wherein the industrial wastewater discharge is less than 200 gallons per day (gpd) and pretreatment is not required.


Q: 
What happens if there are changes to facility operations?
A: IWMD must be notified whenever certain changes such as operations, process, flow, or pretreatment modifications occur in a facility. The permit may be amended as a result of any modification.


Q: Will the facility be inspected?
A: Routine facility inspections and sampling are conducted by environmental compliance inspectors to ensure compliance with the industrial waste control ordinance as well as each user's individual permit requirements.


Q: How much is the industrial wastewater permit application fee?
A: all facilities required to obtain an industrial wastewater permit must pay an application fee in the amount of $479. The fee pays for the city's cost of processing permit applications, performing initial field visits, and issuing final permits.


Q: Are there any industrial waste fees?
A: There is an annual Inspection and Control Fee which all permitted Users must pay for the basic level of services such as inspection, sampling, inventory control, and reporting. There is also a Quality Surcharge Fee for discharged wastewater that contains organic waste and solids above domestic levels.


Q: What happens if there is a facility violation?
A: Industrial facilities that do not comply with permit requirements are subject to enforcement action. IWMD utilizes an enforcement response plan with actions ranging from issuance of Notices of Violation (NOVs) and Administrative Orders to permit suspension and revocation. The main purpose of the plan is to provide the User the opportunity to explain the violation and the action taken to maintain permanent compliance. 

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