National Pretreatment Program

The National Pretreatment Program is a cooperative effort of federal, state and local regulatory environmental agencies established to protect our water quality. The program is designed to reduce the level of potentially toxic pollutants discharged by industry and other non-domestic wastewater sources into the municipal sewer system, and thereby, reduce the amount of pollutants released into the environment from these sources. Learn more about the success of the pretreatment program on the EPA site.
A water treatment plant positioned next to a river surrounded by green grass.


The National Pretreatment Program was established by Congress under authority of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (P.L. 92-500) as amended by the Clean Water Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-217). Implementation requirements of the pretreatment portion of these laws were first codified into 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 403 in 1978.


The National Pretreatment Program is unique in that the General Pretreatment Regulations require all large Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) (i.e., those designed to treat flows of more than 5 million gallons per day (MGD) and smaller POTWs with significant industrial discharges to establish local pretreatment programs. These local programs must enforce all national pretreatment standards and requirements in addition to any more stringent local requirements necessary to protect site-specific conditions at the POTW. More than 1,500 POTWs have developed and are implementing local pretreatment programs designed to control discharges from approximately 30,000 significant industrial users.

Idaho Falls' Program

Our industrial pretreatment program was approved by the EPA in protects the city's wastewater collection and treatment systems, as well as the environment, by preventing toxic and dangerous substances from being discharged into the sanitary sewer system.

We work with local businesses and industries to ensure that toxic and dangerous substances are not discharged into the sanitary sewer system by issuing discharge permits, performing site inspections, monitoring discharges, and enforcing pretreatment standards and requirements. All businesses are responsible for ensuring that they comply with all applicable Federal, State, County, and local regulations governing the operation of their business.

Our Program increase local awareness by educating businesses about program requirements. Current and accurate resources such as Best Management Practices, Sewer Use Ordinance (SUO), and local limits are made available to business owners. The national pretreatment program has a history of protecting natural waterways, the environment and Publicly Owned Treatment Works for more than 30 years.