The Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, known as the Clean Water Act, made water pollution control a national concern instead of only being the individual concerns of the various states. The federal government set standards and helped state governments financially in basic water research and water quality maintenance of interstate waters. People discharging pollutants into the water had to obtain permits for the discharges and therefore had to follow rigorous rules based on the best practical technology available. This led to the awarding of numerous federal grants for the construction of sewerage systems. Subsequently, it was determined that the pollutants coming from non-point sources, such as runoff from agricultural lands, construction sites, urban areas, etc., were substantial in nature.

Stormwater Phase II Final Rule

For further improvement of the Stormwater Program which used the permit rule under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendment of 1972, a phase II rule was enacted. This rule included several additional steps in improving water quality such as: a public education program to reduce pollutants in stormwater; public involvement in the development, implementation, and review of stormwater programs; the elimination of illegal discharge into storm drains; construction sites and contamination of stormwater runoff; post construction and contaminated runoff; and establishment of techniques to prevent contamination of stormwater runoff. (See endnote 50.)

Planning a New or Expansion of a Wastewater Treatment Plant

The following steps should be used: determine the quantity of flow during different weather conditions and composition of the wastewater; establish appropriate objectives and goals for the operation of the wastewater treatment plant; develop appropriate financial resources for building and maintaining the wastewater treatment plant; utilize national or international standards for equipment, facilities, and means of disposing of the effluent and biosolids; determine the quantity and quality of sludge for disposal and how this will be dealt with; establish appropriate industrial pretreatment processes before allowing their effluent to enter the wastewater treatment plant for further treatment; and establish emergency measures for hydraulic overload due to infiltration, high water tables, and/or flooding.

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