Fact Sheet for Hawaii
Best Management Practices
Related ECAR Fact Sheets
Other Relevant Resources
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following fact sheet was prepared by the ECAR Center staff. Once
prepared, each ECAR Center fact sheet undergoes a review process
with the applicable state environmental agency(ies). You can check
on the status of the review process here.
Please read the disclaimer on the status page. While we have tried
to present a summary of the essential information on this topic,
you should be aware that other items, such as local regulations,
may apply to you.
What You Need to Know
As an auto recycler, you almost certainly generate wastewater through
operations such as rinsing parts and washing engines, cars and dirty
tools. If water becomes mixed with oil, antifreeze, solvents, or
other liquids, it is important that it be properly treated and contained
prior to discharge. If your wastewater is currently just
going down an unregulated drain, you're potentially causing significant
problems for which you will be held responsible. Even if your
activities have gone unnoticed for years, there is an increasing
chance that you will be inspected. The federal EPA and the
states are starting to look much more carefully at sources of water
pollution that have so far remained unidentified, and they have
decided to focus on auto recyclers in particular.
are a few basic rules to keep in mind. The first is that wastewater
from ordinary lavatory use and hand washing ("domestic wastewater")
can generally be discharged to a city sewer or a septic field
only if it does not contain any waste from industrial
sources. Wastewater from industrial discharges is usually handled
by wastewater treatment plants, but you will probably be required
to conduct "pretreatment" of the discharge. Most importantly, you
should remember that the storm drains that carry rain and snow runoff
from dismantling yards, roof downspouts, parking lots, and other
surfaces typically go directly to open waterways, and must never be used illegally for disposal. It is important that all the
employees at your yard are aware of these rules, and that they respect
will almost certainly need separate permits both for stormwater
runoff (see the ECAR Stormwater fact sheet)
and for any industrial wastewater that you generate. This
page will give you an overview of how to handle your industrial
fact sheet addresses wastewater discharges other than stormwater,
which is covered by a different fact sheet. Wastewater from salvage
yards can be subdivided into two main types:
- "Domestic wastewater" includes the water coming
from lavatories/washrooms, showers, drinking fountains, etc.
- "Industrial wastewater" includes the water
going into floor drains in areas such as dismantling, discharges
from aqueous cleaning, water from steam cleaning or equipment
wash down, water used for floor cleanup in dismantling areas (e.g.,
mop water), or water from any other sources where it comes into
contact with dismantled parts, equipment, trucks, or machinery.
wastewater can be discharged to a city sewer system or an approved
septic tank system. Most local governments require businesses to
obtain a discharge permit. Domestic wastewater cannot be discharged
to a stream, pond, or wetland without having a special permit.
wastewater is regulated differently than domestic wastewater. If
you combine domestic and industrial wastewater, then the mixed wastewater
is regulated like industrial wastewater. All industrial wastewater
discharges are regulated by federal and state regulations and in
most cases, also by local regulations established by the publicly
owned treatment works or POTW.
Options. There are four primary options
for disposing of industrial wastewater from auto recycling facilities:
- Discharge it to a POTW (Publicly Owned Treatment
Works) or Sanitary Sewer System. If your
facility discharges industrial wastewater into a municipal sewer
that is connected to a POTW, you must meet the standards set by
the receiving water treatment facility. Also, you may be required
to treat your wastewater prior to discharging it to a sewer or
POTW, and you will need a permit or written permission for all
your municipality to obtain a discharge permit
and for applicable local requirements. You must also follow state
and federal requirements, which are outlined under the Regulations
- Haul it to an approved treatment facility. If your area is not served by a municipal sanitary
sewer system, you may opt to transport your wastewater to an approved
treatment facility. Before you haul wastewater you
must perform a hazardous waste determination. This may involve
getting it tested by a laboratory. If the wastewater is non-hazardous,
then you should maintain test records that support your determination.
- Haul it to a Hazardous Waste Treatment Facility. If your
industrial wastewater is considered "hazardous," you
must manage it using special procedures. For more information,
see the ECAR
Hazardous Waste Fact Sheet. You will need to ensure that the
tank storing this wastewater meets the requirements contained
in the hazardous waste rules. In addition, you must ensure that
you properly manage the wastewater upon removing it from the tank
and that it is transported by certified hazardous waste transporters.
- Discharge it to the Surface Waters. If your facility discharges
industrial wastewater via a "point source" (such as a pipe, etc.)
directly to waters of the state, you will be required to obtain
a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Waters of the state include (but are not limited to) ground water,
storm drains, rivers, ponds, streams, lakes and ditches. NPDES
permits set limits on the quantity, discharge rate and concentrations
of pollutants in the water that are discharged from a point source
into waters of the state. If you obtain this type of permit, you
will be required to frequently collect samples of your wastewater
and have them analyzed at a laboratory. You will also have reporting
and recordkeeping responsibilities.
auto recyclers use option 1 or 2. Option 1 is viable when the facility
is located in an area served by a sanitary sewer system, while Option
2 is the economical choice when the volume is small. Before you
begin to discharge industrial wastewater using option 1, you must
acquire a permit or written approval from your local sewer district
or POTW. You also will have to meet certain rules found in federal
and state regulations, including:
- You are prohibited from discharging any pollutant,
including oil, that may upset or interfere with the sewage treatment
processes or pass through the system untreated;
- The pH of your wastewater often must be between
6.0 and 9.0;
- You cannot discharge pollutants (e.g., solvents)
that may cause a fire in the sewer system; and
- You cannot discharge pollutants such as sludge
(e.g., grease, dirt) that may clog the sewer system.
Pretreatment. To meet the rules listed above,
you may need to install treatment equipment such as an oil/water
separator to prevent oil and sludge from being discharged to the
sewer. This is referred to as "pretreatment." The oil and sludge
collected by pretreatment equipment will have to be periodically
removed and disposed of, possibly as a hazardous waste (you must
make a hazardous waste determination).
is important to note that discharging industrial wastewater to a
septic tank is not a viable option. Septic tank systems, wells,
drain fields, cesspools and similar disposal sites are regulated
by federal and state Underground Injection Control (UIC) program
rules that are designed to prevent the contamination of underground
drinking water supplies. For more information see the Septic Tanks and Disposal Wells
to the Regulations and Forms. Use the following links to view the regulations and permit forms pertaining
Hawaii Wastewater Regulations
- Chapter 11-62 HAR
UIC Application for Backfilling an Injection-Well Cesspool
an inspector comes to your facility, there are certain things he
or she checks to see if you are in compliance with environmental
regulations. It makes good sense for you to perform a "self-audit"
and catch and correct problems before they result in penalties.
Also, there are some compliance incentives associated with self-audits
the following list to audit your wastewater management activities.
- Does your facility discharge process wastewater?
Are the discharges authorized by a permit? Check all uses of water and
steam within the industrial areas of your facility. Determine
where wastewater is generated and discharged. You must have a
NPDES permit to discharge to surface waters and you will likely
need a permit to discharge to your local sewer authority. Check
with your local POTW and the Tennessee Department of Environment
and Conservation (TDEC) to ensure you have the proper permits.
- Have you performed the necessary pretreatment? If you are discharging to a sewer system/treatment plant,
you may have to perform pretreatment of your waste. Check with
your local sewer authority.
- Is oil or solvent discharged to the sewer? Federal and state laws prohibit
the discharge of oil or flammable solvents to the sewer system.
These are regulated wastes that must be properly disposed of.
Management Practices (BMPs)
regulations tell you what you have to do to be in compliance, but
they don't explain how to do it. That's where "best management
practices" come into play. BMPs are proven methods that
help you to get into compliance and stay there. The following BMPs
are recommended for wastewater management.
- Limit water use and the volume of water discharged
through conservation methods and by reusing water whenever possible.
- Train employees to use water efficiently.
- Don't use water for cleaning floors and equipment
unless absolutely necessary. Use dry cleanup methods for spills.
- Post signs at all floor drains and sinks in industrial
areas of your facility to discourage employees from using the
drains to dispose of oil, other vehicle fluids, solvent, paint
or similar liquids. Review these rules with your employees.
- Use only non-toxic soaps to clean floors and
vehicles instead of hazardous materials.
- If you have floor drains at your facility that
are not in use, consider having them capped or plugged to prevent
misuse or accidental discharges.
- Prevent drips and spills from reaching the floor.
- Check your floor drains and make certain you
know where they discharge.
- Setup and use a maintenance schedule for inspection
and cleaning of floor drains, oil/water separators, traps, etc.
- Never have floor drains where hazardous materials
- If your wastewater is nonhazardous, you may want
to purchase evaporating equipment to evaporate your wastewater.
It should be noted that evaporators may require an air permit
or registration, and evaporator bottoms may be considered a hazardous
- Don't use degreaser solvents to clean engines.
Most engine degreasers are hazardous and should not be discharged
to a POTW. Even if you use nonhazardous degreasers, the oil and
grease concentration in the spent degreaser may exceed the limit
allowed by your sewer authority.
- For more information, contact the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH),
and Hazardous Waste Branch, Hazardous
Waste Section at (808) 586-4226.
- To report a spill or leak, or to report an environmental
incident or complaint, call the Hawaii Department of Health Office
of Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response 24-hour hotline
at 808-247-2191, or 808-586-4249 during regular office hours.
ECAR Fact Sheets
- Septic Tanks and Disposal
- Directory of Environmental Businesses in Hawaii, 2000
- Hawaii Recycling Industry Guide
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