An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

National Pretreatment Program

The national pretreatment program is a component of the NPDES program. It is a cooperative effort of federal, state, and local environmental regulatory agencies established to protect water quality. Similar to how EPA authorizes the NPDES permit program to state, tribal, and territorial governments to perform permitting, administrative, and enforcement tasks for discharges to surface waters (NPDES program), EPA and authorized NPDES state pretreatment programs approve local municipalities to perform permitting, administrative, and enforcement tasks for discharges into the municipalities’ publicly owned treatment worksHelppublicly owned treatment worksA treatment works (as defined by CWA section 212) that is owned by a state or municipality [as defined by CWA section 502(4)]. This definition includes any devices or systems used in the storage, treatment, recycling, and reclamation of municipal sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature. It also includes sewers, pipes, or other conveyances only if they convey wastewater to a POTW treatment plant. The term also means the municipality [as defined in CWA section 502(4)] that has jurisdiction over the indirect discharges to and the discharges from such a treatment works. [40 CFR 403.3(q)] (POTWs). 

The national pretreatment program is designed to:

Introduction to the National Pretreatment Program - Summary of the national pretreatment program.

Program Events,
Training and Webinars, and