Industrial Wastewater Discharge and Pretreatment

Industrial wastewater pretreatment reduces pollutants in wastewater from industrial and commercial facilities. Environmental Services issues pretreatment permits and authorizations to protect public health and the environment. Learn more about industrial wastewater discharge and pretreatment.
On this page

What is Pretreatment?

Pretreatment involves removing, reducing, or altering harmful pollutants in industrial wastewater before they are discharged to the sanitary sewer system. This requires controlling pollutants at the source. 

Industrial pretreatment protects worker safety and infrastructure and prevents harmful pollutants from passing through the sewer system to our wastewater treatment plants and, eventually, our waterways. 

Do I Need a Permit or Authorization?

Environmental Services provides guidance and assistance that help industrial customers comply with regulations.  If your business or industry discharges anything other than sanitary or domestic wastewater, you may need a discharge authorization or permit.

View the Guide to Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permits and Fees for more information about specific permit, authorizations, and programs.

The City’s Role

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and the Clean Water Act have regulated water quality since the early 1970s. The City of Portland maintains NPDES permits for its wastewater treatment facilities and is required to manage wastewater discharges from businesses, institutions, and industries. Environmental Services Industrial Pretreatment Program works with commercial and industrial customers to control discharges of harmful pollutants to the City's wastewater collection system to protect public health, water resources, and Portland's sewer treatment system.

Rules and Regulations

Reports and Awards

Industrial Pretreatment Awards: Each year, Environmental Services recognizes industrial customers who are working to protect the environment and keep our rivers, streams, and watersheds healthy.

Industrial Pretreatment Reports: The City of Portland is required to submit an annual report to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) outlining the City’s activities to implement its approved Industrial Pretreatment Program.