Depending on the regulatory requirements governing the need for treatment of contaminated stormwater, along with the possible availability of offsite treatment, a decision as to whether to provide onsite or offsite treatment will need to be made. Therefore, prior to proceeding, an industry should (a) investigate whether or not offsite treatment is available, (b) identify if offsite facilities provide the level of treatment required, (c) ascertain tipping fees or costs to be incurred, and (d) determine the reliability of the offsite facility. Once options have been identified, the direction to be taken will be a function of reliability, environmental soundness, regulatory acceptability, economics, and company policy. Offsite treatment facilities include (a) municipal wastewater treatment plants, (b) private residential wastewater treatment plants, and (c) private commercial wastewater treatment facilities. The ability of any of these facilities to provide industrial stormwater treatment would be a function of its available treatment capacity and regulatory permit requirements.
Small industrial sites may be able to truck collected contaminated stormwater to a treatment facility, whereas larger sites would need to construct conveyance pipelines. Depending upon the proximity of the offsite facilities, conveyance requirements and associated costs would need to be considered. In certain instances where several industries requiring treatment are in close proximity to one another, a central offsite treatment facility should be considered. In such cases, privatization of such a facility may offer an advantage to the utilizing industries.
The above discussion briefly presented a few of the various considerations to be weighed prior to making a decision on offsite vs. onsite treatment. In fact, many other factors need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. In particular, the quantity of stormwater to be treated and the needs for bypassing flows are to be considered as well. In order to properly evaluate the requirements and measures to be implemented, a detailed study of the needs for treatment may be a necessity.
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