Environmental Health & Safety

University of Colorado Boulder

Resources

Wastewater Guideline

This Environmental Health & Safety guideline documentation is intended for the general campus audience.

Revised as of November 24, 2008

General Description

The University of Colorado Boulder campus is required to comply with regulations of the City of Boulder Water Quality/Pre-treatment Division in regards to discharges of water to the sanitary sewer (i.e., water that returns to the City of Boulder Water Treatment Plant for processing and treatment, such as sinks, restrooms, janitor closets, etc.). The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) oversees and enforces these efforts on campus, including the administration of a campus-wide Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit. As part of this effort, everyone on the Boulder campus is responsible for following CU Boulder’s policies regarding proper management and disposal of chemical wastes, which includes that these materials must never be poured down drains or placed in the trash. This Document will cover procedures and information regarding campus wastewater.

Information Regarding Campus Wastewater

The University of Colorado Boulder campus is required to comply with regulations of the City of Boulder Water Quality/Pre-treatment Division in regards to discharges of water to the sanitary sewer (i.e., water that returns to the City of Boulder Water Treatment Plant for processing and treatment, such as sinks, restrooms, janitor closets, etc.). The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) oversees and enforces these efforts on campus, including the administration of a campus-wide Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit. This permit requires periodic sampling and analysis of campus wastewater, reporting of sampling data and descriptions of campus initiatives to protect against illicit wastewater discharges, and annual inspections by City of Boulder Pre-treatment Staff to assure compliance with all applicable requirements.

As part of this effort, everyone on the Boulder campus is responsible for following CU Boulder’s policies regarding proper management and disposal of chemical wastes, which includes that these materials must never be poured down drains or placed in the trash. Such actions are environmentally unsound, prohibited by law, and subject to fines and criminal actions. Signs identifying proper disposal of chemicals are posted near sinks in all university laboratories that contain chemicals. All incidents involving release of hazardous materials to sewer systems or the environment must be reported immediately by calling Campus Police at 911 or (303) 492-6666, or to EH&S at (303) 492-6025.

Additionally, EH&S operates a chemical treatment facility in which certain water-based waste streams from campus are treated to remove hazards, and in turn converted to drain-disposable effluents. Current operations include silver recovery and treatment of photochemical solutions, acid/base neutralization, and ultraviolet/oxidation of aqueous wastes that contain trace amounts of organic compounds. These processes work to reduce the volumes of hazardous waste shipped off-site for land filling, treatment and disposal, minimizing the impact of hazardous waste on our soils and water systems.

Inquiries, comments, or concerns related to the campus wastewater management program can be addressed by contacting us.