The Wastewater Section ensures that all
Industrial Wastewater facilities,
meet State of Florida water quality standards to protect the environment
and public health.
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reported to the State Warning Point at
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On average, each person generates about 100 gallons of wastewater
each day. To protect public health and the environment this wastewater
must be treated in some
manner, usually through a septic tank or a wastewater treatment facility. Approximately 60 percent of
Florida's population are served by a domestic wastewater
treatment facility. It is estimated
that more than one billion gallons of domestic wastewater are treated in a wastewater treatment
facility in Florida each day.
The Department regulates the collection, treatment, reuse and
disposal of domestic wastewater and residuals from more than 3,000 municipal and privately
owned facilities in Florida. Of that 3,000, there are currently 365 regulated wastewater
treatment facilities within the Northeast District (NED) most of which are privately owned. Each
of these facilities are required to have a permit from the Department to operate. This
permit must be renewed every five years. Collection systems (sewer lines connected to the
treatment facility) are issued a permit for initial construction only, no other operation
permit is needed.
Industrial wastewater discharges are highly variable in the
amount and types of pollutants they contain. Large industries in the NED include pulp and paper
mills, phosphate and heavy mineral mines, electrical power plants, bulk oil
terminals, organic chemicals and concrete batch plants. Other industries include car
washes, laundromats, reverse osmosis concentrate and 100 percent recycle
Agriculture is one of the biggest industries in Florida. Many
agricultural processing activities, such as dairies, aquaculture, egg production and
feedlots, are also regulated under the industrial wastewater section.
Pollution from industry includes traditional pollutants such as BOD
oxygen demand -- a pollutant that contributes to the depletion of oxygen in receiving
waters) and suspended solids and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus -- chemicals that act
as fertilizers in receiving waters and contribute to algae blooms and other nuisance plant
growth). However, industrial wastewater can also include heavy metals, pesticides, oils and
greases and many toxic organic and inorganic chemicals.
Wastewater flows can vary from several hundred gallons per day for a small car wash
to tens of millions of gallons a day for a pulp and paper mill. Because of this
variability, industrial wastewater treatment requirements must be developed on
basis, or industry-by-industry basis, rather than under a uniform treatment standard. Most
industrial wastewater discharges are regulated by specific federal requirements at a
minimum. However, if additional treatment is necessary to protect water quality standards,
the industries must provide the additional level of treatment.
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