The National Pretreatment Program is a cooperative effort of federal, state, and local regulatory environmental agencies established to protect water quality. The program is designed to reduce the level of potentially toxic pollutants discharged by industry and other non-domestic wastewater sources before entering the municipal sewer systems, and thereby reduce the amount of pollutants released into the environment from these sources.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has assigned approval authority to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for pretreatment programs at the local level and oversight of state-wide pretreatment activities. The City of Biddeford is such a community. The City of Biddeford has authority to implement a pretreatment program, authority to issue industrial user permits, conduct inspections of industrial and commercial sources, sample industrial discharges, and enforce regulations.
The term "pretreatment" refers to the requirement that non-domestic sources discharging wastewater to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) control their discharges, and meet limits established by EPA, the State of Maine, or the local municipality on the amount of pollutants allowed to be discharged.