What is Wastewater?

The resources below include regulations and guidance on water management from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Industrial Wastewater

If your operation generates industrial wastewater, you have three options:

  • Send it to the municipal wastewater treatment plant - contact that authority for permission and to find out what, if any, pretreatment is required
  • Treat the wastewater onsite - if discharge to waters of the Commonwealth occurs from the onsite facility following the treatment, then, in addition to the NPDES (part I) permit, a Water Quality Management (Part II) permit is needed. If discharge to the waters of the Commonwealth does not occur following treatment, then no permit (neither NPDES nor Part II) is needed.
  • Discharge to a body of water - you need a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit

For more information about the NPDES and onsite treatment requirements, visit the following websites:

Drinking Water

If you provide drinking water to your employees from an onsite well, you may need to meet Pennsylvania regulations for a nontransient, noncommunity, public water supply.


If you store items outside, such as drums, containers, pallets, tanks and scrap or off-spec product, you may need a Pennsylvania stormwater permit. Also, if you construct a building, addition, parking lot, or other structure that disturbs the soil, you need to contact your county conservation district about the possible runoff issues. To learn more:

Learn more about Pennsylvania's stormwater management program regarding surface water and effects of new land development on quantity and quality of runoff.