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Guide to Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permits and Fees

Environmental Services issues permits to industries based on the quality and volume of their wastewater discharges. Permits require industries to treat wastewater to meet pollutant limits, monitor pollutants, submit compliance reports, and follow other requirements. Learn more on this page.
On this page

Do I Need a Permit or Authorization?

If you are unsure whether or not you need a permit or authorization to discharge wastewater to the sanitary sewer, the first step is to complete an Industrial and Commercial Environmental Survey. Environmental Services will review the completed survey and notify you if:

Before completing the survey, please see if an Alternative Discharge Control Mechanism applies to you.

Complete the Industrial and Commercial Environmental Survey

Apply for an Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit

What if My Discharge Is Temporary?

A Batch Discharge Authorization or Construction Dewatering Permit may apply to you if you are only discharging to the City’s sewer system one time or for a limited period of time.

Batch Discharge Authorizations are for discrete, one-time discharges from a known waste stream with a known volume. Example discharges include power washing water, chlorinated water from a commercial or public pool draining, chlorinated water from water line disinfection, or miscellaneous non-domestic wastewater.

Construction Dewatering Permitsare typically triggered during Environmental Services plan reviews. Discharges from construction dewatering have an unknown volume and may be intermittent or continuous during the project. Examples of discharges include impounded stormwater, groundwater, or wastewater from construction or demolition activities.

Permit Types

Businesses that meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of a SIU or CIU must complete and submit the Environmental Survey and the Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit Application concurrently.

Significant Industrial Users (SIU): Environmental Services issues permits to SIUs when pollutants of concern are or could be discharged at levels that could harm infrastructure, the environment, or affect worker health and safety. SIUs meet the definition detailed in 40 CFR §403.3(v), which includes the following:

  • Industrial User that discharges an average of 25,000 gallons per day (gpd) or more of process wastewater to the sanitary sewer; 
  • The discharge from your facility makes up 5% or more of the hydraulic or organic capacity of the treatment plant; or
  • The proposed discharge has the potential to disrupt Environmental Services’ sanitary sewer process or to violate any pretreatment standard or requirement.

Categorical Industrial User (CIU): Industries may fall under a specific federal category listed in 40 CFR 405 – 471. A CIU that discharges its categorical process wastewater to the sanitary sewer must be permitted. An example would be an electroplating operation that discharges wastewater to the sanitary sewer and falls under the 40 CFR 433 Metal Finishing category.

Non-Significant Industrial User (NSIU): This permit is issued based on specific City-established criteria. Typically, it is issued to industries that discharge less than 25,000 gpd of wastewater that contains pollutants of concern.

Non-Discharging Categorical Industrial User (NDCIU): This permit is issued when a categorical industry that meets the CIU definition elects not to discharge their wastewater, but instead, the wastewater is hauled off with a certified transporter or evaporated on site. An example would be a small metal finisher. 

Program and Permit Fees

Industrial wastewater discharge permit fees assess the costs to manage permits and ensure each permitted industry pays for its share of the costs to administer pretreatment programs. The fees help recover costs for application reviews, permit issuance, inspections, industry wastewater sampling, compliance report reviews, enforcement actions, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permit fees.

Base Fee$3,395$5,075$1,945$290
Monitoring CostsVariableVariableVariableN/A
Enforcement CostsVariableVariableVariableVariable
DEQ Permit Fee$955$955N/AN/A

*Fees are valid through June 30, 2025.

  • Base Fee: Based on permit type; CIU, SIU, NSIU, or NDCIU. The base fee is subject to change each year on July 1.
  • Monitoring Costs: The actual costs for Environmental Services staff to sample and analyze an industry's wastewater. Compliance monitoring costs should remain consistent during an industry’s 5-year permit cycle.
  • Enforcement Costs: Based on Environmental Services’ costs to administer each enforcement action and each permittee’s compliance history. This is different from enforcement action penalties that are issued for violations of a permit requirement.
  • DEQ Permit Fee: If applicable, the annual DEQ permit fee will be added for categorical and significant industrial users.

Extra Strength Sewer Charges

Certain industries and businesses may discharge wastewater with higher levels of certain pollutants, costing the City more to treat. The City recovers the extra costs to treat “high strength” wastewater. More information can be found in ENB-4.25 Extra Strength Charge Program Administrative Rules.