Industrial Pretreatment

The Eagle River Water & Sanitation District maintains an Industrial Pretreatment Program to prevent the introduction of certain pollutants into the sewage collection system, which would:

  • Interfere with the operation of the sewer system
  • Interfere with the operation of its wastewater treatment plants
  • Pass through the system and contaminate the environment
  • Be incorporated into, and contaminate, the district’s biosolids product
  • Pose a special health risk or hazard

Examples of these pollutants are metals, corrosives, grease, flammable liquids, solvents and oxygen demanding pollutants. Metals of specific concern and considered toxic to aquatic and human life are silver and mercury. These and other metals are difficult to remove in conventional wastewater treatment. Once released to the environment, silver and mercury can bioaccumulate in fish or be incorporated into biosolids used for fertilizer. Grease from food service businesses and residences can clog sewer service lines or sewer mains if not adequately managed with grease traps or other methods. This could result in sewage backups into homes and businesses or sewage overflowing from manholes. Corrosives can cause damage to sewer mains while flammable materials discarded in the sewer system could create a potentially dangerous situation in the sewers or treatment facilities.

Although the Eagle River Valley is only lightly industrialized, there are businesses of concern that could, without the benefit of education or awareness, introduce some of those pollutants into the sewage collection system. The district has worked to educate dentists, hospitals and clinics, photographic studios, and banks about ways to minimize silver from x-rays and micro-fiche records. Dental offices have installed equipment to recycle mercury from dental work. Restaurants have installed and maintained grease traps. Automobile repair shops have solvent recycling programs.

To review details of our industrial pretreatment program, please see the Rules and Regulations for Water and Sewer Service or Pollutant Discharge Regulations and Industrial Pretreatment Program.

Grease Management
Businesses producing grease and discharging it to the sewer system are required to install and maintain grease traps. The towns of Vail and Avon plus Eagle County regulate new construction by requiring grease traps be installed in new restaurants. Businesses are subject to inspection by district personnel to ensure that traps are adequate and functional. For more information about proper grease managment, please contact Customer Service at 970-477-5451.

Corrosives
Corrosive chemicals are any solids, liquids, or gases capable of irreparable damage to living tissues or other materials on contact. The most common examples of corrosives are acids and bases. For more information on corrosive materials and their proper disposal, please contact Eagle County’s household hazardous waste facility.

Flammable Materials
A flammable material is any liquid, solid or gas that will ignite easily or burn rapidly. For questions regarding the properties and safe disposal of flammable materials, please contact Eagle County’s household hazardous waste facility.

Silver and Mercury Management
Businesses discharging silver or mercury waste to the sewer system are required under the District Pollutant Discharge Regulations and Industrial Pretreatment Program to install and maintain silver and/or mercury traps or other removal devices. Compliance with District Rules and Regulations is actively enforced. For more information regarding proper disposal, please contact Eagle County’s household hazardous waste facility.

Solvents
A solvent is a liquid that has the ability to dissolve, suspend or extract other materials without causing a chemical change to the material or solvent. For more information regarding proper solvent disposal, please contact Eagle County’s household hazardous waste facility.