Discharge Limits

The following limits apply to all wastewater discharges within the service area of the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County:


Cyanide (Total) 10 mg/l
Lead 40 mg/l TICH* Essentially none

Arsenic 3 mg/l

Mercury 2 mg/l

pH > 6.0

Cadmium 15 mg/l

Nickel 12 mg/l

Dissolved sulfide 0.1 mg/l

Chromium 10 mg/l

Silver 5 mg/l

Temperature < 140 F

Copper 15 mg/l

Zinc 25 mg/l

Flash Point > 140 F


*TICH (Total Identifiable Chlorinated Hydrocarbons) consists of aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane (cis & trans), trans-nonachlor, oxychlordane, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, hexachlorocyclohexane (alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma- isomers), toxaphene, PCBs, and pp' and op' isomers of DDT, DDD, and DDE.

Stricter limits may be applied for any of the above parameters or additional limits may be set on a case-by-case basis to protect the public or the Districts' sewerage facilities. Examples of additional constituents which may be regulated include, but are not restricted to, total dissolved solids (TDS), high pH, thiosulfate, ammonia, benzene, mercaptans, fluoride, surfactants, toxic organics, and oil and grease. Additionally, the Districts' Wastewater Ordinance (Section 406) contains a comprehensive list of prohibited wastes which must not be discharged to the Districts' sewerage facilities. Examples include, but are not limited to, corrosive, odorous, highly colored, foam-generating, and highly concentrated solid materials.

In additional to local limits, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed categorical regulations which apply to a number of industrial categories. The Districts are required by law to administer these categorical regulations. The following categories are currently regulated; however the U.S. EPA may add or delete categories in the future. 

  1. Aluminum Forming (40 CFR 467): EPA defines aluminum forming as "the deformation of aluminum or aluminum alloys into specific shapes by hot or cold working such as rolling, extrusion, forging, and drawing." Surface treatment and heat treatment of aluminum parts that are formed at the same plant site are subject to the Aluminum Forming Regulations and are not covered by the Electroplating and Metal Finishing regulations (40 CFR 413 & 433). Casting of aluminum that is subsequently formed at the same plant site is also subject to the Aluminum Forming Regulations. Discharge from the forming operation is not required to be subject to this regulation.

  2. Battery Manufacturing (40 CFR 461): Battery manufacturing encompasses the production of modular electric power sources where all or part of the fuel is contained within the unit and electric power is generated directly from a chemical reaction rather than indirectly through a heat cycle engine.

  3. Carbon Black Manufacturing (40 CFR 458): This category consists of facilities which manufacture carbon black by the furnace, thermal, channel or lamp processes. Only facilities which have been constructed or significantly modified since May 18, 1976 are regulated.

  4. Centralized Waste Treatment (40 CFR 437): This category consists of facilities that receive wastes from off-site for treatment.

  5. Coil Coating (40 CFR 465): EPA regulations state that "Coil coating consists of that sequence or combination of steps or operations which clean, surface or conversion coat, and apply an organic (paint) coating to a long thin strip or coil of metal."

  6. Can Making (40 CFR 465): This classification is a subcategory of coil coating and has been defined to be "the process or processes used to manufacture a can from a base metal, including aluminum and steel." This category applies to seamless cans only.

  7. Copper Forming (40 CFR 468): This category regulates discharges resulting from the manufacture of formed copper and copper alloy products. The forming operations covered are hot rolling, cold rolling, drawing, extrusion, and forging. Ancillary operations which include surface treatment (pickling, tumbling, burnishing, alkaline cleaning, and surface milling), heat treatment, hydro-testing, sawing, and surface coating with molten metal are also covered by this regulation. Discharge from the forming operation is not required to be subject to this regulation.

  8. Electrical and Electronic Components (40 CFR 469): This category consists of all operations associated with the manufacturing of semiconductors, electronic crystals, cathode ray tubes, and luminescent materials except for sputtering, electroplating, and vapor plating operations.

  9. Electroplating (40 CFR 413): This category consists of electroplating, anodizing, conversion coating, electroless plating, chemical etching and milling, and the manufacturing of printed circuit boards. This category applies to existing job shops only.

  10. Fertilizer Manufacturing (40 CFR 418): This category applies to discharges from the manufacture of sulfuric acid, nitric acid (in concentrations up to 68%), ammonium sulfate by the synthetic process or by coke oven byproduct recovery, and mixed and blend fertilizers. It is only applicable to sulfuric and nitric acid manufacturing processes that have been constructed or significantly modified since December 7, 1973 and ammonium sulfate and mixed and blend fertilizer manufacturing processes that have been constructed or significantly modified since October 7, 1974.

  11. Glass Manufacturing (40 CFR 426): This category consists of manufacturers of glass containers, television picture tubes, incandescent lamp envelopes, and hand pressed and blown glass. Only facilities which have been constructed or significantly modified since August 21, 1974 are regulated.

  12. Ink Formulating (40 CFR 447): This category applies to discharges resulting from the formulation of oil-base ink where the tank washing system uses solvents. It is only applicable to processes that have been constructed or significantly modified since February 26, 1975.

  13. Inorganic Chemicals Manufacturing (40 CFR 415): This category includes facilities involved in the manufacture of basic inorganic chemicals including alkalies and chlorine, industrial gases, and inorganic pigments.

  14. Iron and Steel (40 CFR 420): This category covers steel works, blast furnaces (including coke ovens), rolling mills, electrometallurgical products, steel wire drawing and facilities which produce steel nails and spikes, and steel pipes and tubes. This category does not include coil coating operations.

  15. Leather Tanning and Finishing (40 CFR 425): This category consists of the tanning, currying, and finishing of hides and skins into leather.

  16. Metal Finishing (40 CFR 433): This category consists of electroplating, anodizing, conversion coating, electroless plating, chemical etching and milling, and the manufacturing of printed circuit boards. This category applies to captive shops (owns 50 percent or more of the surface area finished), and all new source electroplating and metal finishing operations (those which began construction after August 31, 1982).

  17. Metal Molding and Casting (40 CFR 464): This category consists of the pouring or injection of molten metal into a mold with the cavity of the mold representing, within close tolerances, the dimensions the final product. This category includes aluminum, copper, ferrous, and zinc casting.

  18. Nonferrous Metals Manufacturing (40 CFR 421): This category consists of plants that process nonferrous ore concentrates (primary) and scrap metals (secondary) to recover and increase the metal purity contained in these materials.

  19. Nonferrous Metals Forming (40 CFR 471): This category consists of the deformation of a metal (other than iron) or metal alloy (other than iron as the major component by weight) into specific shapes by hot or cold working, drawing, cladding and tube reducing.

  20. Organic Chemicals, Plastics, and Synthetic Fibers (40 CFR 414): This category consists of facilities which manufacture organic chemicals, plastics, or synthetic fibers. Companies which simply formulate or package these materials are excluded.

  21. Paint Formulating (40 CFR 446): This category applies to discharges resulting from the formulation of oil base paint where the tank cleaning is performed using solvents. It is only applicable to processes that have been constructed or significantly modified since February 26, 1975. 

  22. Paving and Roofing Materials (40 CFR 443): This category consists of producers of asphalt paving and roofing emulsions, asphalt concrete, asphalt roofing materials, and linoleum and asphalt felt floor coverings. It is only applicable to facilities that have been constructed or significantly modified since January 10, 1975.

  23. Pesticide Chemicals (40 CFR 455): This category includes the manufacturing, formulating, packaging, and repackaging of pesticides.

  24. Petroleum Refining (40 CFR 419): This category includes operations which produce gasoline, kerosene, distillate fuel oils, residual fuel oils and lubricants, through fractionation or straight distillation of crude oil, re-distillation of unfinished petroleum derivatives, cracking or other processes.

  25. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (40 CFR 439): This category includes pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities which may use fermentation, extraction, chemical synthesis, mixing/compounding and formulation, or may conduct research.

  26. Porcelain Enameling (40 CFR 466): EPA defines porcelain enameling as "that sequence or combination of steps or operations which prepare the metal surface and apply a porcelain or fused silicate coating to the metal basis material."

  27. Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard and the Builders' Paper and Board Mills (40 CFR 430): This category includes pulp mills, paper mills, paperboard mills, and building paper and building board mills.

  28. Rubber Manufacturing (40 CFR 428): This category consists of manufacturers that reclaim rubber or mold, extrude, or fabricate rubber products, including latex products. It is only applicable to facilities that have been constructed or significantly modified since August 23, 1974.

  29. Soap and Detergent Manufacturing (40 CFR 417): This category consists of facilities which blend or package liquid detergents or manufacture dry detergents by spray drying, drum drying, or dry blending. Only facilities which have been constructed or significantly modified since December 26, 1973 are regulated.

  30. Steam Electric Power Generation (40 CFR 423): This category is composed of facilities that are engaged in the generation of electricity for distribution and sale, and use either fossil-type fuel (coal, oil, or gas) or nuclear fuel in conjunction with a thermal cycle that has a steam/water thermodynamic medium.

  31. Textile Mills (40 CFR 410): This category applies to the fiber preparation and manufacturing/process of the textile industry.

  32. Timber Products (40 CFR 429): This category consists of a diverse group of manufacturing plants whose primary raw material is wood and whose products range from finished products to hardboard and preserved wood.