EPA Issues First Municipal Wastewater Discharge Permit in the Nation

[EPA press release - July 30, 1973]

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued the first municipal wastewater discharge permit in the nation to an Illinois municipality.

Francis T. Mayo, EPA Region V Administrator in Chicago, signed the permit allowing the Village of Riverton to discharge treated wastewater into the Sangamon River.

Cities, industries, businesses and large farms are required by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 to have permits to control the discharge of wastewater into navigable waters.

The U.S. EPA and the State of Illinois issued a joint public notice on June 18, 1973, announcing the intent of the EPA to issue a permit, and of the intent of the State of Illinois to certify (approve) the action after the review of all comments. All comments received as a result of the public notice have been considered in the preparation of the final permit. The State recently provided Riverton's certification.

In issuing the permit, EPA placed upon the village a number of conditions for operation. Among those were:

  • The average daily effluent discharge is limited to the following: 34 pounds of biochemical oxygen demand; 34 pounds of suspended solids; and 200 fecal coliform bacteria for each 100 milliliters of water. Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) is a term used to describe the amount of oxygen consumed in the biological processes that break down organic matter in water.

  • Riverton is also required to conduct a weekly effluent monitoring program for the constituents limited in the permit.

  • The permit will expire on July 23, 1976, by which time the village must have applied for and have received a new permit.

A. H. Manzardo, EPA Regional Permit Branch Chief, said Riverton's recently constructed facilities comply with the secondary treatment regulations issued by the Federal government.

The treatment system used by Riverton is a modified activated sludge secondary treatment system using the contact stabilization process. The plant's effluent is chlorinated before being discharged to the river.

Under the new water law passed last fall, the U.S. EPA will continue to be the issuing authority for permits until a State has requested such authority and has had its program approved by the U.S. EPA.

The midwest Region of EPA has permit jurisdiction in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.