Goals of the Pretreatment Program
- Prevent the introduction of pollutants into the wastewater treatment plant that will interfere with treatment operations
- Prevent the introduction of pollutants into those plants that will pass through the treatment process and be incompatible with the environment
- Improve the feasibility of reclaiming the municipal and industrial wastewater, and biosolids (sludge) for land application
- Provide for the fair and reasonably equitable distribution of all costs associated with operation of wastewater collection and treatment systems
Frederick County Business Sewer Users
New, relocating or expanding businesses which are connected or planning to connect to the Frederick County sewer system are required under the Frederick County’s Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Ordinance to provide specific information by completing an Industrial Waste Survey.
Commercial Sewer Users
Commercial sewer users with only hand washing and toilet facilities need to complete Section I and II of the Industrial Waste Survey and sign the Certification Statement. Sections II through VII may not apply to all applicants and should be completed only if so directed.
Any commercial sewer user discharging wastewater other than hand washing and toilet flushing may need to submit the following documents in addition to the Industrial Waste Survey:
- Authorized Signatory Form (only required to delegate signatory authority to others)
- Spill Management Plan
Additional information concerning the Industrial Pretreatment Program can be found in the Pretreatment FAQ.
Amalgam contains mercury. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in fish and shellfish and ultimately affects human health and the environment.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has set a national standard that will reduce the discharge of mercury containing dental amalgam from dental practices to sewer plants. The standard includes mandatory use of amalgam separators or similar devices, and Best Management Practices (BMP's) endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Dental Practice Responsibilities
Depending on your specific practice, different requirements and deadlines must be achieved.
One-Time Compliance Report
Should you have questions, please contact Cory Brandt, Industrial Waste Specialist, at 301-600-2511 or email Cory Brandt.
Septic & Sludge Disposal
All septage haulers and those private domestic treatment facilities desiring to dispose of waste at the Ballenger-McKinney Wastewater Treatment Plant must have a valid Liquid Waste Disposal Permit issued by the Pretreatment Program.
Current Disposal Rates
Below are the current disposal rates per ton effective July 19, 2011.
|Disposal Options||Rates / Ton|
For further assistance please contact the Pretreatment Office at 301-600-2511.
Please take a few minutes to complete the online survey.
The website interface is secure and encrypted through CivicPlus. As part of the survey, the property owner is encouraged to provide photos of backflow prevention devices and upload them when requested. Alternatively, the survey can be completed on paper. Please contact our office by phone at (301) 600-1825, or email DWSU Cross Connection, and one will be mailed to you.
What Is Cross-Connection and Backflow?
Water systems depend on water pressure to keep water flowing in the proper direction through the pipes. A cross-connection is any physical connection between a possible source of contamination and the public water system. Additionally, a drop in water pressure can create a reverse flow from a property owner’s plumbing system back into the public water system. This is called backflow.
What are the Applicable Laws and Regulations?
Frederick County Water and Sewer Rules and Regulations (Section 8A), and the Frederick County Plumbing Code.
What are Common Cross-Connections and Backflow Hazards That Threaten the Water Supply?[i]
- Soapy water or other cleaning compounds back siphoned into your (the customer’s) drinking water supply through a faucet or hose submerged in a bucket or laundry basin.
- Swimming pool, spa or other ornamental water features that create a pathway for pool water to enter your drinking water supply, including the scenario above when a hose submerged has been submerged for filling.
- Fertilizers/pesticides back siphoned into your drinking water supply plumbing through a garden hose attached to a fertilizer/pesticide sprayer.
- Chemicals/pesticides and animal or bird droppings drawn into your drinking water supply from an irrigation system with submerged nozzles.
- Hose connections to a water outlet or laundry tub.
- Fire protection systems using chemicals.
- In-premise water treatment systems.
- Chemically treated heating systems.
- Use of photographic chemicals, process chemicals, beauty salons, biological laboratory supplies, veterinarian supplies or other laboratory chemicals can cause contamination due to an unprotected cross-connection.
- Certain medical equipment used on premise or in the home.
- Water-powered back up sump pumps, if not isolated by a properly installed backflow prevention device, create a cross- connection between the drinking water supply and the contaminated water in the sump pit.
- Feed lots/livestock holding areas or barnyards fed through pipes or hoses from the plumbing for your drinking water supply.
- A connection made between a private auxiliary water supply (i.e., well or cistern) and the water being supplied by a public water system through the customer’s drinking water supply plumbing.
Residential Water Customers Can Prevent Backflow Too
- Be aware of and eliminate cross-connections.
- Maintain air gaps. Do not submerge hoses or place them where they could become submerged.
- Use hose bibb vacuum breakers on fixtures (e.g., hose connections in the basement, laundry room and outside); replace every 5 to 7 years.
- Make sure toilets have anti-siphon ballcock assemblies.
- Install approved, testable backflow prevention devices on lawn irrigation systems or water service lines to pools or hot tubs.
- Install an approved, testable backflow prevention device if a water-powered back up sump pump is present.
- Do not create a connection between an auxiliary water system (well, cistern, body of water) and the water supply plumbing.
[i] This is not an all-inclusive list and is merely intended to offer the most common examples.
Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG)
- Grease blockages in sewer lines are common causes of overflows and basement backups.
- Grease is a byproduct of cooking and comes from meat fats, oils, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, sauces, and dairy products.
- Correcting a blockage is expensive. If it occurs on your property, it will be the owner’s responsibility to contact a plumber to have it cleared.
- Sewage overflows can result in serious harm to the environment.
Help Prevent Blockages & Backups by Disposing of Grease Properly
Do not pour grease, fats, and oils from cooking down the drain.
- Collect the grease in a metal can (soup cans, for example).
- Once the grease has cooled and solidified, place it in the trash for disposal.
Common Myths about Grease
Garbage disposals do nothing to protect your drain lines from accumulating grease.
- Dishwashing detergents do not protect your lines from grease buildup. While it is true that they initially break up grease, they eventually lose this ability and grease will begin to accumulate in sewer lines.
- Chasing grease down the drain with hot water only causes the grease to build up elsewhere.
In 1995, the Division of Water and Sewer Utilities' Department of Regulatory Compliance began to collect water quality samples from Lake Linganore for use in making water treatment plant operational decisions and to assist with proactively identifying potential issues with the sanitary sewer lines that surround the lake.
Since 2009, the County’s Lake Linganore Water Treatment Plant has been idle and is currently only to be used in an emergency backup capacity. However, the City of Frederick currently uses Linganore Creek as a water supply. The stored volume of water behind the dam in Lake Linganore provides limited reserve capacity for their needs.
Samples are collected from 6 sites around the lake. Sample locations can be viewed on the online map.
The beaches were chosen as sample locations solely because of their ease of access to the lake. (Note: The Division of Water and Sewer Utilities does not have regulatory authority to monitor bathing beaches.)
Information related to the Division of Water and Sewer Utilities' monitoring efforts is found below:
- Frederick County DUSWM/Health Department LLA E. coli Town Hall Meeting Presentation – August 29, 2012
- Division of Water and Sewer Utilities Lake Linganore Monitoring Data 1995 through 2003
- Division of Water and Sewer Utilities Lake Linganore Monitoring Data 2003 through 2020
- Division of Water and Sewer Utilities Lake Linganore Monitoring Data 2021 through Present (data will be updated quarterly)
- Current Monitoring Data
Should you have questions, please contact 301-600-1825.
The Department of Regulatory Compliance, as a part the Division of Water and Sewer Utilities (DWSU):
Plans and coordinates the enforcement of state and local regulations regarding the compliance, monitoring and prevention of contamination and pollution of the public water supply and environment.
The Environmental Laboratory is a Maryland State-certified water quality laboratory. The laboratory supports operations staff by performing over 20,000 analyses used for both compliance and process control.
The Pretreatment Program provides for the regulation of wastewater discharges into the sanitary sewer system. The department administers the program in accordance with the Frederick County Industrial Waste Ordinance 12-33-628. The purpose of the program is to prevent the introduction of pollutants into the wastewater collection and treatment system. This is important to prevent interference with the treatment process, avoid damage to the equipment, or harm to workers, the public and the environment.
The Department also handles liquid waste disposal permits.