Environmental Compliance


Environmental Compliance

Controlling toxins at their source is the best method of keeping pollutants out of the local water environment. Our treatment plant is not designed to remove chemicals and metals, and our Collection System can be damaged by some substances (e.g., Fats, Oils, Grease).

To prevent damage to either, Environmental Compliance monitors the wastewater discharged at various points in our collection (sewer) system, ensuring that business and industry are complying with discharge requirements. A key element of the program is education. We believe that the more people understand the hazards of toxic discharges to the sewer, the less likely they are to pollute.

Program Elements


Pretreatment Regulations

Central San’s Environmental Compliance Program uses a combination of regulatory and educational elements to minimize the pollutants in all process wastewater discharged to the sanitary sewer system from commercial, retail, agency, and industrial customers. Central San’s Source Control Ordinance (Title 10 of the District Code) applies to all non-domestic customers.


Permitted Industrial User

Central San’s Environmental Compliance Section uses the Industrial User (IU) Permitting Program to oversee individual facilities or a group of businesses. This is to ensure that wastewater discharge quality remains within permitted limits. IU Permits require the keeping of specific operation and maintenance, development of spill response plans, filing of compliance certification reports, and monitoring of discharge quality. Central San uses the IU classification process to determine the proper oversight for a particular business activity.


Special Discharge Permit
Including Pool, Spa or Fountain Discharge Permits

Central San issues Special Discharge Permits to businesses that have a temporary, non-standard wastewater discharge to the sewer system. In many cases, this permit authorizes the discharge at a specific location. Examples are: groundwater remediation discharge, dewatering operations at a construction site and pool, spa or fountain discharges. Special Discharge Permits may require the use of a pretreatment system and/or the sampling and analysis of the wastewater.


Environmental Compliance Plan Reviews

Central San’s Environmental Compliance Program conducts plan reviews of businesses that may potentially discharge pollutants into our sanitary sewer system.  The Environmental Compliance plan review will determine appropriate pretreatment devices and ensure wastewater is discharged in a manner that prevents or removes pollutants.  All facilities going through the Plan Review process should consult Central San’s Permit Counter for full permit requirements and fees:  Permit Counter

What type of Grease Removal Device does my facility need?


Stormwater Program

Central San works with the Contra Costa Clean Water Program (CWP) to perform storm water inspections in the ten incorporated cities of central Contra Costa County. The cities have authorized Environmental Compliance staff to conduct inspections of commercial/industrial businesses and to enforce storm water management ordinances to prevent storm water pollution. Central San inspectors combine these inspections with the sanitary sewer compliance inspections whenever possible to reduce the number of inspection visits required for a business.



Environmental Compliance conducts inspections of permitted and non-permitted facilities at least once a year to ensure that businesses are complying with their permit requirements and District Code requirements. Environmental Compliance staff will periodically conduct unannounced sampling events to obtain data on the process wastewater being discharged. Environmental Compliance staff may also conduct unannounced inspections. 

Source Control Inspections Brochure
Pretreatment Enforcement (Chapter 10.16 of District Code)
Compliance Consultation Service


Healthcare Facilities

Most of the wastewater sent to the sewer from healthcare facilities is similar to household wastewater, however, potential contaminants of concern include mercury, pharmaceuticals, and disinfection chemicals. Healthcare workers play an important role in helping to protect our water environment. The following information is designed to give healthcare facilities the tools they need to comply with wastewater regulations.

Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal for Businesses