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Evaluation of Discharges from a Hazardous Waste Facility to a POTW
Author: Joseph M. Wong, Antoinette M. Bertolero
Date: 5/890
Presented at 45th Purdue Industrial Waste Conference, West Lafayette, Indiana, May 8-10, 1990

Since 1980, hazardous waste disposal has become an increasingly critical problem in the United States. More and More publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) are being asked to help solve industrial and hazardous waste disposal problems. These problems may range from disposal of contaminated groundwater from a leaking gas station storage tank to acceptance of effluent from a centralized waste treatment facility1. One of the better known examples is the discharge of treated groundwater from the Stringfellow hazardous waste disposal facility, a Superfund site, to two wastewater treatment plants operated by the County Sanitation Districts of Orange County in southern California. From December 1985 through the end of 1988, nearly 26 million gallons of water from the Stringfellow site was treated and discharged to these POTWs2. A POTW may accept wastes from these facilities for many good reasons. For example, disposal to a POTW may be the best technical solution to an environmental problem, because a POTW generally can provide a large dilution ratio for the waste. A POTW also has the resources to tackle treatment reliability problems. In some cases, the POTW board and management may feel a public responsibility to help to solve hazardous waste treatment problems. They are willing to accept the risk to fulfill a public obligation. In other cases, a POTW may accept these wastes for a fee that will defray some of the rising cost of operation and maintenance (O&M). Before accepting these wastes, however, a POTW should conduct a careful evaluation of the impact the discharge may have on the facilities both technically and legally. This paper presents a summary of such an evaluation. The proposed discharge was to a POTW in California. It consisted of treated groundwater, landfill leachate and impounded wastewater for a hazardous waste disposal faclity. This evaluation focused primarily on the technical aspects.

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