Assessing the Return on Pretreatment: An Evaluation of EPA Performance Measurement and PCS Modernization

Return on Pretreatment Final Report_May02-thumb.png

Prepared with Industrial Economics for the US EPA's Office of Water and the Office of Planning, Analysis, and Accountability. May 2002.

Pretreatment regulations require industries and municipalities to remove specialized and hard-to-treat pollutants before they are allowed to send their wastewater to public sewage treatment plants. Pretreatment is critical both to ensure high water quality and to protect billions of dollars in waste water treatment infrastructure. Monetizing the value of pretreatment is not easy, and is made much more difficult by weak core data on water quality throughout the United States. This memo evaluates the adequacy of existing and proposed metrics for demonstrating pretreatment performance. It also assesses proposed improvements to core data on water quality to identify the gaps in information needed to support pre-treatment that remain unaddressed.