LPWRP (002)

Pretreatment Program

Did you know that nearly 50 percent of all sewage overflows nationwide are caused by homeowners who improperly dispose of everyday Fats, Oils and Grease ( FOG ) ? These overflows are not just public health issues, but can result in serious damage to our environment, especially pollution of our streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

As the lead agency that responds to sewage overflows, the Bureau of Utilities has taken on the challenge of educating residents on how they can and should dispose of these fats, oils and grease which are found in foods and food ingredients we use in our homes everyday: meat, cooking oil, butter, shortening, margarine, baked goods, sauces and dairy products.

What happens when you fry bacon, broil hamburgers or bake meat? When you’re finished, what remains in your cooking pan ? The answer is FOG – a real enemy of our sewer system – a substance that, when poured down your drain or into your garbage disposal, will build up over time, constrict the flow of wastewater and eventually cause sewers to back up into homes, overflow sewage into streams, rivers and the Bay.


Both liquid oils and solid fats should be placed in absorbent containers prior to trashing

Both liquid oils and solid fats should be placed in absorbent containers prior to trashing 


View of the bottom of a Sewer Manhole showing blockage from grease build up.

View of the bottom of a Sewer Manhole showing blockage from grease build up.

Howard County’s Bureau of Utilities quickly responds to and resolves these backups and overflows.

However, prevention is the best and wisest solution to this growing problem.



Sewer Manhole Overflow

Sewer Manhole Overflow



Septage Receiving Building


Septage Receiving Building

Grease Trap Manhole

Trap Inspection

Discharge Ports

Discharge Ports for Septage Receiving

First and foremost, we must reduce the amount of FOG that enters Howard County’s sanitary sewage system.To do this, we are asking homeowners to follow these simple steps when they are recycling or disposing of fats, oils and grease:

  • First, minimize the use of excess cooking oils and grease when cooking or frying.
  • The best way to handle used cooking grease is to pour it from the pan while it is still somewhat warm into a container that you can freeze, preferably one you'd have to throw away because it's not accepted by your local recycling program. ( Frozen juice cartons work well because they won't melt when they come in contact with hot grease ) Use a rubber spatula to scrape as much of the grease out of the pan as possible, and then it should only take one disposable paper towel to wipe the pan clean.
  • Store the container in the freezer, which will keep the grease solid, and pull it out whenever you have fats, oils and grease to dispose of. When it gets full, dump the whole container in the trash.
  • Whenever possible, find creative ways to reuse or recycle properly stored FOG. One suggestion is to turn refrigerated FOG ( now lard ) into wild bird suet by mixing it with bird seed.
Dental Compliance Reporting

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially signed and submitted the final rule for dental amalgam effluent limitations for publication into the Federal Register (FR) the rule will be effective July 2020.  

Practices Affected by the EPA Dental Amalgam Rule 

This rule applies to all offices that practice dentistry and discharge their wastewater to a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW), including large institutions and dental clinics.  It does not apply to the mobile units.  

For dental offices that place or remove dental amalgam, the One-Time Compliance Report must include information on the dental facility and its current operations and a certification that the dental discharger meets the requirements of the applicable performance standard.  

For dental offices that do not place or remove dental amalgam, the One-Time Compliance Report must include information on the facility practices and a certification statement that the dental discharger does not work with dental amalgam.  

ISO 11143 Compliant Amalgam Separators

The EPA rule states that all amalgam separators installed by dental practices must achieve ISO 11143 standards for mercury removal efficiency and design requirements.  The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) established standard 11143 for measuring amalgam separator efficiency and included certain design requirements for proper use and maintenance.  

The EPA rule requires that all amalgam separators currently being installed must achieve at least a 95% removal efficiency rating.  The EPA also recognizes that offices may currently have amalgam separators in their facilities that do not meet the new requirements.  These offices are allowed to continue to operate these older separators for their lifetime or ten years (whichever may come first).

Click here to download the dental one time compliance reportdental one time compliance report

Significant Industrial User Information and Application

Significant Industrial User(40 CFR 403.3): 

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this section, the term Significant Industrial User means:  

(i) All Industrial Users subject to Categorical Pretreatment Standards under 40 CFR 403.6 and 40 CFR chapter I, subchapter N; and  

(ii) Any other Industrial User that: discharges an average of 25,000 gallons per day or more of process wastewater to the POTW (excluding sanitary, noncontact cooling and boiler blowdown wastewater); contributes a process waste stream which makes up 5 percent or more of the average dry weather hydraulic or organic capacity of the POTW Treatment plant; or is designated as such by the Control Authority on the basis that the Industrial User has a reasonable potential for adversely affecting the POTW's operation or for violating any Pretreatment Standard or requirement (in accordance with 40 CFR 403.8(f)(6)).  

(2) The Control Authority may determine that an Industrial User subject to categorical Pretreatment Standards under § 403.6 and 40 CFR chapter I, subchapter N is a Non-Significant Categorical Industrial User rather than a Significant Industrial User on a finding that the Industrial User never discharges more than 100 gallons per day of total categorical wastewater (excluding sanitary, non-contact cooling and boiler blowdown wastewater, unless specifically included in the Pretreatment Standard) and the following conditions are met:  

(i) The Industrial User, prior to the Control Authority's finding, has consistently complied with all applicable categorical Pretreatment Standards and Requirements;  

(ii) The Industrial User annually submits the certification statement required in§ 403.12(q) together with any additional information necessary to support the certification statement; and  

(iii) The Industrial User never discharges any untreated concentrated wastewater.  

(3) Upon a finding that an Industrial User meeting the criteria in paragraph (v)(1)(ii) of this section has no reasonable potential for adversely affecting the POTW's operation or for violating any Pretreatment Standards or requirement, the Control Authority may at any time, on its own initiative or in response to a petition received from an Industrial User or POTW, and in accordance with 40 CFR 403.8(f)(6), determine that such Industrial User is not a Significant Industrial User.

Click here to download the Significant Industrial User Application

Waste Hauler Discharge Permit

1.         Howard County Requirements for Hauled Wastes:

            A. Only wastes originating in Howard County are accepted at the LPWRP.

2.         Each vehicle used in delivering loads to the LPWRP must be inspected and permitted by the Howard County Health Department (Telephone Number. 410-313-1771). Please furnish us with a copy of the most recent scavenger permit.

3.                     Submit the completed application from, vehicle permits, and surety to:

                        Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant

                        8900 Greenwood Place

                        Savage MD 20763

                        Attn: Pretreatment Department


4.         The Waste Hauler Discharge Permit, requirements and reporting procedures will be mailed to you. Failure to comply with these requirements and procedures will be subject to enforcement actions according to the Howard County Code Section 18.122A(L) which can lead to fines or the revocation of your discharge permit.

Click here to download the Waste Hauler Application

Industrial Users Discharge Limits

Below are some of the Parameters Industrial Users must meet before being Discharged





Daily max (mg/L)