Sheetflow Construction Erosion and Sediment Control

April 9, 2019

Process Wastewater

What is process wastewater?

The definition of process wastewater and how it applies to construction has always been a bit confusing to me.  There are some construction activities that are obvious generators of process water like pressure washing, but then there seems to be some grey when it comes to filling a water truck from a hydrant and using the water for dust control. 

I suspect regulators, if you ask them, will give some conflicting definitions of construction process water.  I am going to try to work through this over a few days, or weeks or however long it takes to come up with a satisfying answer. 

First off, how do the Feds define it? Process wastewater as defined by 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 122.2. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/122.2

 it says: “Process wastewater means any water which, during manufacturing or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any raw material, intermediate product, finished productbyproduct, or waste product.

EPA uses this definition in their NPDES Glossary. Find at https://www.epa.gov/npdes

The Washington State Department of Ecology uses that definition in the Construction Stormwater General permit and adds: “If stormwater commingles with process wastewater, the commingled water is considered process wastewater”.

This is the legal definition of process wastewater.  It is a good, solid, bit of legalese, developed by lawyers for lawyers.   Though I haven’t researched this, I think it is likely this definition originated when the Clean Water Act was in its beginning stage of development and was applied to industrial, “end of pipe” discharge facilities, like chemical plants, and manufacturers. 

Herein, I believe, lies my confusion; construction doesn’t fit this description.  I guess technically it is, or can be, an end of pipe facility, but construction is transient, has a limited duration, and generally has the potential for diffuse discharges rather than just one or two discreet discharge points.

With that, I will think some more and post some more when my headache goes away.

June 1, 2014

How to Design and Install a Wheel Wash

How to Design and Install a Wheel Wash
By: Mark Kestner, Ph.D.

National Environmental Service Co., Inc.
7 Hampshire Drive, Mendham, NJ 07945 Tel: 973-543-4586 www.drdust.com
Presented at: California Mining Association Annual Meeting 2005, Squaw Valley, CA May 24-27

Introduction

Quarries, ready-mix plants, construction sites and other industrial facilities have become the
targets of new regulations designed to prevent track-out of mud, dust and dirt on to public roads. These
regulations have been developed primarily in response to Federal EPA actions that have designated many
metropolitan areas as “non-attainment” for their failure to comply with air quality standards for fine
particulate. Fine particulate, known as PM10 and fine respirable particulate, PM2.5, are now regarded as
the number one health hazard in urban environments. These particles are so small that they become
lodged in the aveoli of the lungs where they can cause or aggravate a variety of respiratory diseases
including asthma, emphysema and lung cancer.
Local governments in non-attainment areas are forced to take draconian measures to comply with
fine particulate standards or face the loss of federal highway funds. As a result, cities like Los Angeles
and Phoenix, have or are in the process of adopting rules that require affected facilities to install wheel
washes. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in California, for example, has
recently passed Rule 1157 that will mandate the use of rumble grates and tire washes.
In other areas of the country, encroaching residential and commercial development around
industrial sites has led to an increased demand for wheel washes. Many companies, particularly stone
quarries, have installed wheel washes in order to get out in front of regulation and demonstrate their
willingness to be good neighbors. Other facilities are forced into compliance through fines and litigation.

Faced with state and local governments under the threat of federal action and a public unwilling
to tolerate any pollution, companies need to take a hard look at how best to respond. Because the costs of
pollution control equipment are difficult to recover, affected facilities have a real incentive to develop
affordable and effective technology to prevent carryout.
….MORE….

October 19, 2013

EPA Watershed Academy

Welcome to the Watershed Academy’s Distance Learning Program — Watershed Academy Web. This Web site offers a variety of self-paced training modules that represent a basic and broad introduction to the watershed management field. The modules are organized by the six themes listed below. Modules vary in the time they to complete, from ½ hour to 2 hours. Fifteen of them (marked with asterisks * below) are the core modules for the Watershed Academy Certificate Program.

Urban watershed creek restoration.

(more…)

January 27, 2013

EPA Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control

Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control

Poorly maintained BMPs can result in significant quantities of sediment being discharged to storm drains.
Uncontrolled stormwater runoff from construction sites can significantly impact rivers, lakes and estuaries. Sediment in waterbodies from construction sites can reduce the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants, clog fish gills, smother aquatic habitat and spawning areas, and impede navigation.

Phase II MS4s are required to develop a program to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff to the MS4 for construction sites disturbing one or more acres. This primarily includes developing:

An ordinance,
Requirements to implement erosion and sediment control best managment practices (BMPs),
Requirements to control other waste at the construction site,
Procedures for reviewing construction site plans,
Procedures to receive and consider information submitted by the public, and
Procedures for inspections and enforcement of stormwater requirements at construction sites.
In addition to the stormwater requirements that Phase II MS4s place on construction sites, construction operators must also apply for NPDES permit coverage if their project disturbs at least one acre and discharges to a waterbody.

A description of these requirements is available at EPA’s stormwater construction website.

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