Waste Water Permit Programs

Permit programs are among the basic tools the Agency uses to regulate wastewater discharges to Illinois streams and lakes. They provide facility owners and the public with a discharge specific interpretation of the law and regulations. They provide a specific set of effluent limits, a monitoring schedule and a reporting schedule. Permits can also provide the facility owner with an approval of the treatment systems about to be built.

The Bureau of Water operates two separate permit programs, the NPDES permit program and the state construction/operating permit program.

NPDES Program

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) has its origin in the Federal Clean Water Act. The program requires permits for the discharge of treated municipal effluent, treated industrial effluent and stormwater. The permits establish the conditions under which the discharge may occur and establish monitoring and reporting requirements. This federal program is delegated to the states; Illinois received delegation on October 23, 1977.

State Construction/Operating Permit Program

The state construction/operating permit program is based in the state Environmental Protection Act and the regulations developed by the Pollution Control Board. Permits are required for the construction of new sewers, sewage pumping stations, and for connections to the public sewers which are 1500 gallon per day or larger, or serve two or more buildings. Permits are also required for the construction of new sewage treatment plants, pretreatment equipment and industrial wastes treatment plants. Permits are required for new or modifications to sewage treatment plants, pretreatment facilities and industrial waste treatment plants.

State permits are required for the land application of treated municipal sludges to cropland or other areas. State permits are required for the operation of non-discharge wastewater treatment systems, such as spray irrigation of treated wastewater.