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Enhancing and Standardizing the Quality of NPDES Sampling and Analytical Programs

Enhancing and Standardizing the Quality of NPDES Sampling and Analytical Programs

If you were asked to respond to the following few, simple questions about your National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for your wastewater operations, how long would it take you?  Would you have to guess?

  • Which of your facilities have NPDES permits?
  • Does each facility actually meet the requirements of its NPDES permit?
  • Are the requirements of the NPDES permit actually achievable?
  • Do you have the contact information for the laboratory that performs NPDES sampling and/or analysis for each of your facilities?
  • Are you aware of each laboratory’s accreditation status?
  • What procedures do you have in place for when you get a Notice of Violation (NOV), but the laboratory result just doesn’t seem to make sense?

As part of a recent wastewater quality initiative, Environmental Standards was retained by a large food and beverage processor to gather information to answer those (and a number of other informational) questions, as a proactive program to evaluate its wastewater-compliance program across its North American operations. The goals were to not only gain a better understanding of the requirements of the wastewater programs at each of its facilities, but also to drive consistency and improve the quality of results reported from its retained contract laboratories. By gathering program information and then creating consistent procedures for wastewater sampling, analysis, and reporting, Environmental Standards was able to support the client to meet the objectives of installing a quality “backbone” wastewater-compliance program. As an added benefit, through the use of a Chemistry/Technical Support Help Desk , Environmental Standards successfully challenged and reversed several (to date) wastewater NOVs at various processing facilities.

Since 1987, Environmental Standards’ Consulting Chemists have been supporting NPDES permit holders by being an on-call resource, enhancing and standardizing their sampling, analytical and reporting programs . For more information on our NPDES support programs , please contact Alyssa Reed at or Rock Vitale at

Rock Vitale, CEAC

Technical Director of Chemistry