The City of Richmond has had a Pretreatment Program to stop pollution from overloading or passing through the wastewater treatment plant since 1979. The program monitors industrial wastewater discharged into the City of Richmond’s sewer collection system, and issues up to approximately 200 permits to wastewater dischargers in the sewer district. Not all businesses within the City of Richmond discharge to the City’s sewer system. You can check the list of addresses which are served by the City of Richmond's collection and pretreatment program, to see if you are connected up to the City's sewer system. Households and businesses in the northern part of the City of Richmond (from about Rheem north) discharge into the West County Wastewater District. In the southern section of Richmond, main lines are services by the Stege Sanitary District and businesses are inspected by the East Bay MUD pretreatment program.
Over the past 24 years the Pretreatment Program has also been involved with identification and reduction of pollutant sources both to the sanitary sewer and the storm drains from industrial commercial and residential activities. Of particular concern are heavy metals such as Copper, Mercury, Nickel and Selenium. Metals such as Copper and Nickel mostly settle out in the sludge called bio-solids. Keeping the metal content low enables the bio-solids to be used in a variety of ways. Presently the bio-solids are clean enough to use as a capping soil in the sanitary landfill. With the closure of the landfill off of Parr Blvd. in the new future, the Pretreatment Program works hard to keep the metal content in the bio-solids low. This will get the City more options on how to dispose of the solids economically. Cyanide is also a priority pollutant, and the program is always vigilant of Cyanide discharges to the sewer system. Grease in the sewers is also a major concern. Sewers blocked with grease can cause overflows which are expensive in the clean-up costs, damage to property, and fines if they cause overflows to the storm collection system.