Comment on the General Permit for Small Sewage Disposal Systems

The WV Department of Environmental Protection is in the process of re-issuing the general permit for small sewage disposal systems, which they do every five years. This general permit is a blanket permit that regulates the discharge from approximately 775 sewage treatment facilities throughout the state. Submit comments here.

Elevated bacteria levels are one of the leading causes of pollution in our rivers and streams. Approximately 40% of the stream segments listed as impaired are on that list because of fecal bacteria. Now is our opportunity to urge DEP to strengthen this permit to protect our streams from sewage discharge.

One of the easiest ways to protect our rivers and streams from the polluted discharge of wastewater treatment plants is routine water quality monitoring, which ensures the treatment processes are working and the discharged wastewater is in compliance with our state’s water quality standards.

The state’s water quality standard for fecal bacteria content in the wastewater discharge is a monthly average. However, the general permit requires a monitoring frequency of once per quarter or once every three months. How can we make sure that the wastewater treatment facilities are in compliance with our water quality standards if they are not required to monitor enough to demonstrate that the standard is met?

Submit your comments by September 14. Urge DEP to revise the general permit to increase the monitoring frequency for fecal coliforms in the wastewater discharge to at least twice per month to demonstrate compliance with the state’s water quality standards.

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