Environmental engineers use wastewater characterization surveys, also referred to as industrial waste surveys, to establish flows, quality characteristics, and pollutant loadings at an individual industrial plant. They use the results of such surveys in (1) determining the treatment level necessary to meet effluent discharge standards, (2) selecting treatment processes, (3) making the discharge permit application for the facility, (4) establishing pretreatment requirements for the facility prior to discharge into municipal sewerage systems, and (5) developing a wastewater flow and loading minimization program. They also use survey information in establishing industrial user charges for discharges into municipal systems (Water Pollution Control Federation and American Society of Civil Engineers 1977).
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