The Rochester Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) controls the discharge of industrial wastewater in accordance with the Federal Clean Water Act. This is done through the Industrial Pretreatment Program which includes issuing permits, conducting inspections, and collecting periodic samples. The program sets discharge limitations and prohibits certain substances so as to protect the sanitary sewer collection system infrastructure, the WRP, plant personnel, and the environment.
For example, discharge of acidic liquid with a pH lower than five is prohibited to prevent corrosion of sanitary sewer pipes. Liquids with a pH of greater than eleven are prohibited as they can cause the release of dangerous gases, such as ammonia, posing a threat to anyone working nearby. While the WRP is effective at mercury removal, a maximum concentration of mercury is enforced because if influent concentrations become too high, mercury may not be completely removed and will be discharged into the Zumbro River. This mercury then poses a threat to the environment including the possibility of accumulating in local fish.
Prohibited substances and discharge limitations are found in the Rochester Code of Ordinances 12-2. The Water Reclamation Plant has outlined some common Businesses That Require Wastewater Review prior to wastewater discharge to the system. In addition, some aspects of the industrial pretreatment program involve the recovery of costs associated with treating higher than normal strength wastewater and hauled waste. These costs are outlined in the Rochester Code of Ordinances 12-6 in combination with Rochester City Council resolutions outlining rates.
The WRP issues permits to any user that discharges more than 25,000 gallons per day of process wastewater. It also issues permits to industries that manufacture products in certain categories that the US Environmental Protection Agency has identified as having potential pollutants of concern. The following industrial users are currently on permit with the Rochester Water Reclamation Plant:
AMPI - 700 1st Ave. SE
Crenlo, Inc. - 1600 4th Ave. NW
IBM - Hwy 52 & 37th St. NW
Gauthier Industries - 3105 22nd Street NW
Kerry BioScience - 1937 7th St. NW
Kemps Ice Cream - 406 N. Broadway
Kemps Milk - 700 1st Ave. SE
Mayo Clinic - 200 1st St. SW
Mayo Incinerator - 7123 LC Drive
Oronoco Landfill - 2633 85th St
Kalmar Landfill - 7401 19th St. NW
Waste-to-Energy - 2402 Campus Dr. SE
Pace Dairies - 2700 Valley High Drive NW
Rochester Public Utilities - 4000 E. River Rd. NE
St. Mary's Hospital - 1216 2nd St. SW
Seneca Foods - 1217 3rd Ave. SE
Textile Care Services - 225 Woodlake Dr. SE