Industrial Discharges


Since 1925, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) has been regulating the disposal of non-domestic wastes to the sanitary sewer system in Prince George's and Montgomery Counties. In 1972 the Federal Clean Water Act was mandated, which sought to restore and preserve our nation's waterways by eliminating discharges of pollutants. As a component of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), the Pretreatment Program was formed to address discharges from industrial sources to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).

The WSSC's Pretreatment Program, the Industrial Discharge Control Program, was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1983, and has the distinction of being the first Program approved in the State of Maryland. In addition, in 1993, the WSSC's Industrial Discharge Control Program was recognized nationally by the EPA for implementing an "Outstanding Pretreatment Program."

The objectives of the Industrial Discharge Control Program are to:

  • Prevent the introduction of pollutants that will interfere with the operation of the WSSC's wastewater treatment plants;
  • Prevent the introduction of pollutants that will pass through or are incompatible with the WSSC's wastewater treatment plants;
  • Improve opportunities to recycle and reclaim municipal and industrial wastewaters and sludges; and
  • Protect the health and safety of the general public and WSSC workers.

The Program meets its objectives through permitting Significant Industrial Users (SIUs), performing routine monitoring of SIUs, and routinely conducting comprehensive facility inspections.

Permitting Program

The WSSC regulates Significant Industrial Users (SIUs), specific zero dischargers, temporary dischargers of metered wastewater, and waste haulers by permit. All SIUs must apply for a WSSC Discharge Authorization Permit by completing a WSSC Discharge Authorization Permit Application. Industrial Users (IUs) that are uncertain of their SIU status may complete an Industrial Waste Survey. WSSC will review the survey and make a determination on your industry's status. SIU discharge permits are effective for four years. The following fees are associated with the issuance of a new permit and renewal of an existing permit.

Waste Haulers

Waste Haulers can apply for a permit by completing a Waste Hauler Permit Application.

Permits are effective for one year (July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019) and the fee is based on vehicle capacity.

  • 1-49 gallons - $255/vehicle
  • 50-799 gallons - $4,610/vehicle
  • 800-2,999 gallons - $13,149/vehicle
  • 3,000 gallons and up - $31,188/vehicle 
  • *Zero Discharge Permit - $107.00/vehicle 
  • Transfer and/or Replacement Permit Sticker - $107.00/vehicle

* Zero discharge permits are only for Waste Haulers engaged in the cleaning of grease interceptors within the WSSC service area who elect to dispose of this waste at a waste disposal site outside of the WSSC's jurisdiction. A Zero Discharge Permit is not an authorization to discharge at the WSSC's disposal site.

In order to acquire a Waste Hauler Permit, the following information must accompany your Waste Hauler Application upon submission:

  • Health Department permits: If your business intends to operate a vehicle in Montgomery and/or Prince George’s Counties, you MUST have a Sewage Sludge Utilization License (Montgomery) or Prince George’s County Health Department Permit for that vehicle. For each vehicle, there must be a corresponding county health department certificate that is associated with that vehicle (i.e. through license plate or Vehicle Identification Number/VIN). WSSC will not accept inspection certificates, only final Health Department permits/licenses. This applies whether the application is for a Waste Hauler discharge permit or a Zero Discharge permit.
  • Motor vehicle registrations: WSSC requires a copy of each vehicle’s current registration.  License plate numbers and VIN on application must match official vehicle registrations. This applies whether the application is for a Waste Hauler discharge permit or a Zero-Discharge permit.
  • Sanitizing Agents: Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or manufacturer’s product information sheet for your portable toilet sanitizers MUST be included with application.
  • Mobile Food Service vehicles: For each county that your business is planning on operating in, a copy of the current Mobile Food Service License (or equivalent) and the Site-Specific Point-of-Sale License (or equivalent) must be submitted for each vehicle.
  • A check or money order made out to WSSC for the exact amount for all permit fees.

You may mail your application to:

Permit Services Section
14501 Sweitzer Lane - Lobby Level
Laurel, MD 20707

Or you may hand carry your application to the address above Monday through Friday (except holidays) from:

Hours of Operation 
7:30 AM to 5:00 PM (closed 12:00 - 1:00 PM) 
Monday - Friday  
(except Wednesday: 7:30 AM to 12 Noon) 

All materials must be included with your application or WSSC will not be able to process the application and issue a permit. Any questions, please email: or call 301-206-4003.

Inspections and Monitoring

The Industrial Discharge Control Program's Inspection and Monitoring Unit regulates approximately 50 Significant Industrial Users (SIUs). These SIUs are monitored annually for compliance with Federal and local discharge limitations. In addition to monitoring SIUs, Program staff conducts annual comprehensive inspections of each SIU's facility.

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All violations of Federal, State and local discharge limitations and requirements are met with enforcement action. This enforcement action is outlined in the Program's Enforcement Response Plan (ERP). 

Continuing violations which cause a violator to be in significant noncompliance (SNC), or those violations which in one instance are SNC, will subject the violator to additional self-monitoring, public notice in the largest local newspaper (The Washington Post), and possibly formal enforcement action in the form of an Administrative Order.

The following SIUs were found to be in SNC with the EPA's national pretreatment standards and/or requirements, and/or the WSSC's Industrial Waste Regulations

 Significant Industrial User Pollution  Violation (s) Calendar Year 2017

Significant Industrial User

Significant Noncompliance

Alsco Inc.
4900 Philadelphia Way,
Lanham, MD 20706

Failed to comply with reporting requirements. This violation constitutes SNC for failure to conduct monitoring as required by an enforcement action. 

Beretta U.S.A. Corp.
17601 Beretta Dr.
Accokeek, MD 20607

Failed to notify WSSC within 24-hours of becoming aware of a violation. This violation constitutes SNC for failure to report noncompliance. 

Cintas Corporation
1769 Brightseat Rd., Landover, MD 20785

Violated the permitted local daily maximum limitations for total suspended solids and polar fats, oil and grease, and pH.  These violations constitute SNC for effluent violations.

The industry also failed to report noncompliance to WSSC within 24-hours of becoming aware of a violation.  This violation constitutes SNC for failure to report noncompliance. 

Five Star Laundry-Washington, DC, LLC
201 Waterfront Street,
National Harbor, MD 20745

Violated the permitted local daily maximum discharge limitation for chemical oxygen demand (This constitutes SNC for effluent violations.

Human Genome Sciences (SSM)9910 Belward Campus Dr.
Rockville, MD 20850

Violated the permitted monthly average discharge limitation for tetrahydrofuran for the month of November 2017.  This constitutes SNC for effluent violations.

National Institutes of Health  
5625 Fishers Ln
Rockville, MD 20892

Violated the permitted local daily maximum discharge limitation for mercury. This constitutes SNC for effluent violations.

Nixon Uniform Services, Inc.
11860 Old Baltimore Pike
Beltsville, MD 20705

Failed to notify WSSC within 24-hours of becoming aware of a violation. This violation constitutes SNC for failure to report noncompliance.

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