Carpet cleaning poses a significant threat to our water resources. To assist professional carpet cleaners we are providing the below information. You can download this information in a one page flyer by clicking here. Please note that Morgantown Utility Board's waste water treatment plant in Star City has a designated location for trucked waste disposal. If you're interested in utilizing this service please call 304.599.2111.
Environmental regulations that apply to carpet cleaning companies
Wastewater generated from carpet cleaning can contain contaminants like detergents, disinfectants, dirt and carpet fibers. If a carpet cleaning company doesn’t properly manage its wastewater, these contaminants can be carried directly into creeks, rivers, wet- lands or other surface waters, polluting the water and threatening aquatic life.
Under the Clean Water Act, a company cannot discharge process wastewater directly into storm sewers, streams, rivers, lakes, etc. without obtaining a permit from the EPA. By directly discharging or allowing wastewater to run into our local water resources your company can be found in violation of the Clean Water Act. This includes discharging wastewater into conveyance systems (for example, ditches and storm sewers) that lead to surface waters.
What is the proper way to dispose of wastewater from steam cleaning carpets?
The proper way to dispose of wastewater from carpet cleaning is to discharge it to a sanitary sewer.
For each site you are working at, inspect the area to find out if there is access to a sanitary sewer. Drains and gutters that are found outside buildings, in parking lots or along the streets are usually NOT sanitary sewers. They are usually storm sewers that lead directly to a stream, river or other water body. You CANNOT discharge wastewater directly into storm sewers.
You should NOT discharge any wastewater into any drain or sewer system if you do not know where it leads. If the business or home where you are working at is connected to a sanitary sewer, you can discharge directly to it. This usually means running wastewater into a utility sink, toilet or floor drain - taking steps to ensure that drains/pipes at the business or home do not get clogged with dirt or fibers.
Another option includes collecting the wastewater and arranging for disposal at our waste water treatment plant.
MUB's wastewater treatment plant has no problem handling your wastewater and will require no pretreatment (like oil or grease removal, for example). If you have any questions about whether the area you are working is connected to a sanitary sewer or about sending wastewater to the waste water treatment plant, these should be addressed directly to the MUB at 304.599-2111 before beginning the job. Do NOT let wastewater run outside a building or home into a storm sewer. It is also not acceptable to let wastewater run outside and sit in areas such as parking lots or driveways to evaporate off.
Also, you should NOT dispose of wastewater into a sanitary sewer through a manhole.
All business operators should also familiarize themselves with our Preventing Spills brochure available here.
Remember, avoiding a water contamination event is a lot less costly than cleaning up after one!