Compliance Assurance

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Headworks- DigestersOur Compliance Assurance Section performs routine inspections of permitted wastewater facilities within Hillsborough County. These facilities range from small domestic waste package treatment systems to large power generating facilities. Each facility operates within a set of conditions established by a permit. Compliance with the terms of the permit provides us with reasonable assurance that the operation of a particular pollution source does not adversely affect the environment.

Under a Specific Operating Agreement (SOA) with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), we monitor compliance and enforce provisions of Chapter 403 Florida Statutes for certain facilities. Facilities not covered by the SOA are inspected under the authority of the EPC’s enabling Act, Chapter 84-446 Laws of Florida.

We strive to perform two unannounced inspections at each permitted facility every year. Additional inspections and resources are allotted to facilities with compliance problems.

Inspections

Joe Kienke and Dan samplingWe conduct a variety of inspections over the five-year life of a permit. These inspections may include evaluation of compliance with schedules, review of submitted reports and compliance history, on site review of self-monitoring documentation including field tests, lab reports, chain of custody and monitoring reports, visual inspection of treatment units and effluent discharges, disposal systems and sampling activities. Each inspection and inspection type is scheduled automatically through our Data Management System.

Inspections are performed in accordance with EPA and FDEP protocols.

After inspection any noted concerns or alleged violations are communicated to the permittee of the facility for correction and follow-up in the form of an inspection report. Typically, inspection reports are available within 30 days of the inspection activity.

Compliance Tips

  • Make sure all personnel supporting compliance with your permit obtain a copy of the permit. It is recommended your operator and contract laboratory be provided a copy so they are aware of changes, if any, in monitoring and/or reporting.

  • Comply with improvement schedules in your permit

  • Maintain permit required records onsite. They may be maintained electronically. Several individuals should be familiar with the location and contents of the records so that they may be reviewed upon request.

  • Timely submit discharge monitoring reports and responses to requests for information.

  • A paperless alternative to reporting discharge and groundwater monitoring data is available via the Department of Environmental Protection EzDMR system. We encourage prospective EzDMR Users to register for the EzDMR system by visiting the DEP Business Portal. For more information, please contact EzDMRAdmin@dep.state.fl.us.

  • For domestic wastewater, be sure the operator’s logbook is complete. This is to include, but not limited to, the operators name and license number, dates and times of visits, all test results, maintenance done on the plant, abnormal events, sludge wasting, and sludge disposal.

  • For industrial wastewater, ensure best management practices plans are current.

  • Inspect the facility regularly and perform maintenance in a timely manner, including maintenance of collection systems to ensure compliance with flow limits.

  • Maintain the wastewater facility and disposal/reuse system to allow inspectors to safely evaluate the system.

  • Report all spills or other abnormal events or non-compliance, including those resulting from severe weather, immediately upon discovery as required by your permit. For after-hours reporting to EPC, please dial the main number 813-627-2600, wait for the automated system to answer, then press “5” or simply listen for instructions regarding after-hours reporting to leave a message for our On-Call staff. The State Watch Office must also be notified for spills over 1000 gallons or where public health or environment may be impacted. The number is 1-800-320-0519.