The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is also an
excellent source for training materials. WEF has wastewater
courses both in printed and computer CD-ROM formats. See
Appendix C for contact information.
State and regional professional associations in the
wastewater treatment field can also help operators find local
classroom-type training. WEF can provide valuable assistance in
locating these organizations.
Current Trends in the Wastewater Industry That
Affect Plant Operations. The regulatory agencies (state and/or
EPA) responsible for the issuance of discharge permits are
implementing more comprehensive programs to ensure protection of
the water quality standards of the state's streams. A
comprehensive stormwater permitting program is now in place in
all states. This program requires industries and municipalities
to permit stormwater outfalls and to implement best management
practices (BMPs) that will reduce the impact of stormwater runoff
on the receiving stream. In addition, the regulatory agencies
are implementing basinwide permitting programs designed to bring
streams that have been identified as not currently meeting water
quality standards into compliance. This program evaluates all
the development of total maximum daily loads (TMDL) for the
watershed, the program allocates allowable discharge levels from
all sources within the drainage basin. This could mean that more
restrictive effluent limits will be placed in discharge permits.
The use of TMDL in the permitting process will be prevalent when
permits are renewed.
Water Quality-Based Effluent Limits. Effluent
limits contained in the NPDES permit are developed by the permit
writer and are based on state water quality standards for the
receiving stream. These effluent limits are called water
quality-based effluent limits. Each stream in the state is
classified in the water quality standards according to its
existing or potential uses. Specific and general standards apply
to each classification. These standards are then used in the
development of the effluent limits for the discharger.
The inclusion of water quality-based effluent limits in
the permit is based on a review of the effluent characterization
presented in the discharger's permit application (EPA Form 2C).
This review, conducted by the permit writer, assesses the
presence of compounds that have the potential to violate the
water quality standards. For these compounds, permit limits will
be identified wherever possible.