Frequent Questions

Why are there different standards for wastewaters and nonwastewaters in the treatment standards table? What are the definitions of wastewater and nonwastewater? Can a waste change from one to the other?

Treatability groups refer to the classification of the waste as either a wastewater or nonwastewater.  The Agency has established the principle of treatability groups because technologies applicable to nonwastewaters are not generally applicable to wastewaters, or require special designs in order to simultaneously handle wastewaters.

Wastewaters are wastes that contain less than 1% by weight total organic carbon and less than 1% by weight total suspended solids.  Nonwastewaters are wastes that do not meet the criteria for wastewater.

A waste can change from one group to another, but a facility is not allowed to dilute or perform partial treatment on a waste in order to switch the applicability of a nonwastewater standard to a wastewater standard or vice versa.  A change in treatability group constitutes a new point of generation for characteristic wastes.

References: 
55 FR 3864, January 31, 1991
55 FR 22520, 22544, June 1, 1990
40 CFR Section 268.2
53 FR 31138, 31145, August 17, 1988

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