Programs & Permits

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The Wastewater Management Division implements a variety of programs for residential, commercial, or industrial customers and waste haulers.

Hauled Liquid Waste Program

Septic Receiving Station
Wastewater Management Division (WMD) provides disposal services to haulers of domestic waste, specifically, waste from residential septic tanks and chemical toilets. Septic Haulers bringing waste to the WMD Septic Receiving Station are required to have Septic Hauler permits with the County of Fresno and the City of Fresno before being allowed to use the facilities.

Anaerobically Digestible Material (ADM) Receiving Station
WMD provides disposal services for haulers of non-residential high organic material, which includes waste from grease traps, grease interceptors or other approved waste of high organic content. The purpose of this station is twofold: to ensure grease is kept out of the sanitary collection system by facilitating a local disposal site, and to capture the high volatile content of this material to produce gas for various uses.

Haulers of inedible kitchen grease are required to have Non-Residential Waste Hauler Discharge Permits with the State, the County of Fresno and the City of Fresno.  All other haulers of ADM are required to have a permit from the City of Fresno.

Obtaining Permits
For more information on how to obtain a permit application for the issuance of a Septic Hauler or a Non-Residential Waste Hauler Wastewater Discharge Permit, call (559) 621-5100.

Extraction Well
Water Program

The Extraction Well Water Fill Station Program provides free groundwater from the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility (RWRF) for customers to reduce the use of drinking water for non-drinking uses.

Extraction well water is water that percolates from disposal ponds where treated wastewater is filtered by the soil. This produces good quality water that is safe for non-drinking uses. It is safe for human contact, except for drinking. Extraction well water is not grey water.

By participating in this program, customers are able to collect extraction well water at a fill station located at the RWRF.

Who can participate?
Eligible customers include residents from the cities of Fresno and Clovis and those residing in Fresno County with City water or sewer services.

How does the program work?
Residential customers may collect up to 300 gallons at a time, but they can return as often as they like. Customers that require more than 300 gallons at a time must complete a commercial application form.

Customers are required to bring their own sealable tanks and label them with the words “Non-potable water/Do not drink.”

How do I sign up?
Fill out the appropriate application located below. To obtain hard copies of the application, call (559) 621-5100.

Approved applicants will be contacted within 1-2 business days by phone and/or email to confirm a date and time when they can collect their badge, providing them access to the fill station. Each new customer receives a map with directions to the fill station gate, which is 0.8 miles west of the main plant entrance. It is also the 3rd gate west of the main plant entrance.

How can the water be used?
The water is suitable for:

Dust control and soil compaction
Washing vehicles and hard surfaces such as paths, walls, and windows
Watering trees, lawns, and gardens
The water is not suitable for:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking, bathing, or showering
  • Filling swimming pools, spas, or water toys
  • Connection to the household drinking water plumbing or irrigation system

How can I get more information?
Contact the Reclamation Coordinator at (559) 621-5100 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Application Forms
Complete the appropriate application below. Hard copies of the forms can be requested by calling (559) 621-5100.

Extraction Well Water Application – Residential Customers

Extraction Well Water Application – Commercial Customers

Mail completed applications to:

Attn: Reclamation Coordinator
Fresno Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility
5607 W. Jensen Avenue
Fresno, CA 93706

Wastewater Discharge
Pretreatment Program

The City of Fresno operates a Wastewater Discharge Pretreatment Program that regulates industrial wastewater discharge at the source. This is a cooperative effort of federal, state, and local regulatory environmental agencies established to protect water quality.  The Pretreatment Program is administered through the Clean Water Act, which called for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop national pretreatment standards to control industrial discharges into sewerage systems.

The objectives of the local program are:

  1. To protect the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW), or the municipal sewer system and wastewater treatment facility, from pollutants that may interfere with plant operation or pass through the plant untreated; and
  2. To improve opportunities for the POTW to reuse treated wastewater and the biosolids that are generated.

What are National Standards?
National Standards are uniform national requirements which restrict the level of certain pollutants in the wastewater discharged by industries.

National Standards consist of:

  1. Prohibited Discharge Standards, which apply to all industrial users, and
  2. Categorical Pretreatment Standards, which apply to specific types, or categories, of industrial user, such as electroplaters.

The specific prohibitions state that pollutants shall not be introduced into a POTW that:

  1. Create a fire or explosion hazard in the collection system or treatment plant;
  2. Are corrosive, including any discharge with a pH less than 5.0, unless the POTW is specifically designed to handle such wastes;
  3. Are solid or viscous pollutants in amounts that will obstruct the flow in the collection system and treatment plant, resulting in interference with operations;
  4. Include any pollutant discharged in quantities sufficient to interfere with POTW operations; and
  5. Are discharged with temperatures above 140 F (40 C) when they reach the treatment plant, or hot enough to interfere with biological processes.

Who is regulated under the Pretreatment Program?
The Pretreatment Program applies to all Significant Industrial Users (SIU), which is a discharger of wastewater that is subject to a Categorical Pretreatment Standard (e.g., electroplater) or who discharges an average of 25,000 gallons per day or more of process wastewater (excluding sanitary, noncontact cooling and boiler blowdown wastewater).  Discharges from an SIU are controlled through a wastewater discharge permit, which is issued by the Wastewater Management Division of the City of Fresno.

If an industry is not considered an SIU, it is not necessarily exempt from the Pretreatment Program.  An SIU is issued a Class I wastewater discharge permit, which is good for one year, however there are other classes of permits issued for various lengths of time depending on the type of business.

Fresno is a city with a variety of industries and diverse discharge characteristics.

Wastewater Discharge Permits are issued locally to:

  • Packing Houses
  • Industrial Laundries
  • Rendering Facilities
  • Tortilla Manufacturers
  • Poultry Processors
  • Bottling Companies
  • Food Processors
  • Electroplaters
  • Metal Finishers
  • Slaughter Houses
  • Industrial Bakeries

What is the process of obtaining a Wastewater Discharge Permit?
Preliminary inspections and other guidelines such as the amount of flow, impacting characteristics of the wastewater, type of process, and federal regulations are taken into consideration to determine if a business is required to have a Wastewater Discharge Permit.

Any industrial user who thinks they might be regulated should contact the Wastewater Management Division at (559) 621-5100.  After a preliminary telephone discussion, a wastewater discharge permit application will be sent asking for more detailed information concerning the type of business, the estimated volume of water used and discharged, hazardous material information, etc.  Once completed, an inspection will be conducted and, if approved, a wastewater discharge permit will be issued.

What is included in a Wastewater Discharge Permit?
Permits to discharge into the sewer contain a series of administrative requirements and discharge conditions that the users must comply with at all times. Permits are given for a specific time and are tailored to each user. Monitoring of industrial users is established based on their impact to the RWRF.

How are Wastewater Discharge Permits enforced?
Regulations are enforced through actions that could escalate from simple Warning Notices to Cease and Desist Orders if discharges constitute a public health and safety issue. Compliance through pollution prevention measures instead of enforcement actions is highly preferred.

Increased facility inspections have played an active role in improving communication with industries and the overall compliance rate in the last five years. The protection of the RWRF and the environment is best achieved through a partnership between government and industry.

How successful is the Pretreatment Program?
Introduction of metals to the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility (RWRF) has decreased since the implementation of the Pretreatment Program. Implementated in 1983, the Pretreatment Program has successfully reduced regulated pollutants discharged to the RWRF by more than 50%.  The ability to use the effluent to irrigate non-food crops, and the use of biosolids as a compost ingredient is a clear indication of the effectiveness of the Program.

The City of Fresno’s Pretreatment Program will continue to meet the challenges of improving performance, promoting pollution prevention, educating dischargers, and enforcing regulations to keep pollutants from impacting the RWRF performance.

How do I get more information about the Pretreatment Program?
Contact the Wastewater Management Division at (559) 621-5100.

Dental Amalgam Program

On June 14, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Dental Category (40 CFR Part 441) to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). The regulation, which became effective on July 14, 2017, requires dental offices that place or remove amalgam to operate and maintain amalgam separator(s) and prohibits the discharge of scrap amalgam or the use of certain kinds of line cleaners.

In accordance with this regulation and as operator of the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility, the City of Fresno (Control Authority) established a Dental Amalgam Program to ensure compliance with the regulations set forth in 40 CFR Part 441

Existing dental offices “existing source”

All existing dental offices who discharge to the City of Fresno’s sanitary sewer system on or before July 14, 2017, must comply with the standards under 40 CFR 441.30 by July 14, 2020, and submit the One-Time Compliance Report for Dental Dischargers by October 12, 2020.

Existing source that has not submit the One-Time Compliance Report must do so immediately by contacting the City of Fresno-Wastewater Management Division, Environmental Services Section at 559-621-5100.

New dental offices “new source”

New dental offices that discharge to the City of Fresno’s sanitary sewer system after July 14, 2017, must be in compliance with the standards by the time they open and must submit a One-Time Compliance Report for Dental Dischargers, certifying as such within 90 days after their first discharge to the sanitary sewer system.

Transfer of ownership

If an existing source transfers ownership, the new owner must submit a new One-Time Compliance Report for Dental Dischargers no later than 90 days after the date of transfer.


Dental offices that do not place or remove amalgam, or offices that exclusively practice oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, or prosthodontics, or meet any of the conditions set forth under 40 CFR 441.1(c-f), shall submit the One-Time Compliance Report stating they are exempt and are not subject to any of the rule’s requirements.

Dental offices must submit their One-Time Compliance Report by mail to:

City of Fresno
Wastewater Management Division
Attention: Environmental Services Section
5607 W. Jensen Avenue
Fresno, CA 93706

Or via email to [email protected]

For further inquiries, contact:

City of Fresno
Wastewater Management Division
Environmental Services Section
Main phone number: (559) 621-5100
Fax: 559-498-1700

Frequently Asked Questions on the Dental Office Category Rule

EPA Dental Effluent Guidelines