Wastewater Discharge Standards

The flow rates and quality characteristics of wastewater within and between types of industries vary widely. Therefore, wastewater discharge standards are related to industry type. For example, Table 7.3.5 summarizes the effluent limitations based on best practicable treatment (BPT) for point sources associated with the cracking sub-category of petroleum refining.

Effluent limitations can be technology-based or water quality-based, with the former considering BPT, best available technology economically achievable (BAT), best conventional pollutant control technology (BCT), or new source performance standards (NSPSs). BPT emphasizes end-of-pipe controls and reflects the average of the best for the industry category; it deals primarily with conventional pollutants such as BOD, oil and grease, solids, pH, and some metals. BAT can include pollution prevention through process control and end-of-pipe technology; it deals primarily with toxics such as organics and heavy metals. BCT is used with BAT. NSPSs are based on the best available demonstrated control technology (BADCT); it is typically similar to BAT with BCT.

Water quality-based effluent limitations can require greater levels of treatment as dictated by a waste load allocation scheme based on the total maximum daily load for the stream segment. Adjustment factors for the effluent limitations, which account for facility size and specific processes, are in the regulations (40 CFR Chap. 1, part 419). Effluent limitation information is also available for BAT, BCT, and NSPS for the cracking subcategory and for BPT, BAT, BCT, and NSPS for the topping subcate-gory, petrochemical subcategory, lube subcategory, and integrated subcategory (40 CFR Chap. 1, part 419)

Effluent discharge standards have been developed for wastewater from many industry types. This section does not address multiple types of industries; however, as an illustration of variability, Table 7.3.6 lists the water quality parameters for fourteen types of industries (Corbitt 1990). As the table shows the parameters are industry-specific.

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