Industrial wastewater

Industries, businesses, and other privately owned facilities that discharge wastewater directly to surface waters must obtain an NPDES permit. 

Industrial wastewater discharge (NPDES) permits

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits regulate wastewater discharges to lakes, streams, wetlands and other surface waters. State Disposal System (SDS) permits regulate the construction and operation of wastewater disposal systems, including land treatment systems. Together, NPDES/SDS permits establish specific limits and requirements to protect Minnesota's surface and ground water quality for a variety of uses, including drinking water, fishing and recreation.

For Minnesota industrial facilities, the MPCA strives to issue these permits as consolidated water quality management permits. An individual NPDES/SDS permit for an industrial facility may cover a number of different waste types and activities, including: industrial process wastewater, contact and non-contact cooling water, storm water, contaminated ground water pumpouts, water supply treatment backwash and wastewater treatment sludges. Several general NPDES/SDS permits are also available. NPDES/SDS permit requirements may include monitoring, limits, and management practices designed to protect surface and ground water quality.

Primary users of this program

Primary customers are the industries that receive these permits, as well as citizens that may use ground water, lakes, streams, and other surface waters downstream of industrial facilities in Minnesota.

Assistance and resources

Permit applications are available depending on the industry and waste types present. Some guidance and technical assistance materials are available for those industries, waste types, and wastewater management methods common in the state.

More information

For assistance or more information, contact the MPCA at 651-296-6300 or 800-657-3864.

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