NPDES Permit Compliance
The federal Clean Water Act requires that all municipal, industrial and commercial facilities that discharge wastewater or stormwater directly from a point source (a discrete conveyance such as a pipe, ditch or channel) into a water of the United States (such as a lake, river, or ocean) must obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. All permits are written to ensure the receiving waters will achieve their Water Quality Standards.
In our ongoing efforts to comply with our NPDES permit, monitor and assess the health of our surface water, protect the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens, WQLM staff collected and laboratory analyzed over 4,000 water quality samples last year. The laboratory analysis of many of these samples revealed hidden water quality problems associated with broken sewer lines, malfunctioning septic tanks, and contaminated waters. As water quality issues were discovered, we partnered with the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, Escambia County Health Department and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to assist with enforcement and corrective actions. The monetary value of these water quality samples and analyses to the citizens of Escambia County is over $300,000 per year.