Business wastewater survey
In 2016, King County surveyed thousands of companies that may send industrial wastewater to King County’s sewer system. This survey is now closed. To apply for authorization to discharge industrial wastewater to the sewer, refer to our forms page.
Update -- posted August 17th, 2016
Thanks to the 6000 businesses who participated in the recent business survey. The survey is now closed. In 2016 and 2017, King County may contact individual businesses based on the information they provided in the survey.
“Industrial wastewater” comes from almost any business process except toilets or sinks in bathrooms or break rooms. All businesses are required to respond to the survey.
Every company must properly dispose of wastewater. Some businesses need permits or authorization to send industrial wastewater to the sewer. Answers to the survey helped determine what each organization needs.
News release: Wastewater survey coming to 20,000 businesses in March, Feb. 26, 2016
Survey instructions and frequently asked questions
The following instructions and frequently asked questions (FAQs) were available to download in English and multiply languages.
Survey information in English
Spanish - La información de la encuesta está disponible en español
Chinese - 中文调查信息。
Korean - 한국어 조사 정보
Vietnamese - Thông tin khảo sát bằng tiếng Việt.
Russian - Информация об опросе доступна на русском языке.
- For questions about the Industrial Waste Program, email: Info.KCIW@kingcounty.gov
Frequently asked questions (online)
My business is not “industrial.”
Industrial wastewater comes from any business system other than toilets or sinks in bathrooms or break rooms. King County is surveying every organization that might send industrial wastewater to King County’s sewer system. This survey is going to about 50,000 companies. All of them are required to respond. Even if you only have restrooms or break rooms on site, your response to the survey is important.
My business is not in King County.
King County treats wastewater from a large part of south Snohomish County and a small part of north Pierce County. Click here to view a map of the local wastewater service area.
I don’t pay King County for sewer service.
Thirty four local sewer agencies send wastewater to King County for treatment. Your local sewer agency bills your company for sewer service and pays King County.
Yes. All companies must complete the survey, according to King County Code 28.84.060. The survey is legitimate and your organization is required to respond.
Filling out the survey could save you time and trouble. We may have to inspect businesses that don’t fill out the survey. Your answers on the survey will help determine if that would be necessary. That’s why even if you only have restrooms or break rooms on site, your response is important.
It depends on your business. Many businesses will only need a few minutes to fill out the survey. Others may need to gather records and documentation to respond accurately. Businesses that send large volumes of industrial wastewater to the sewer will need to provide more information. Businesses that perform “categorical” processes will too. Categorical processes are federally regulated with pretreatment standards. They include things like metal finishing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, organic chemicals, plastics, and many others.
All companies need to follow regulations for properly disposing of wastewater. This protects wastewater workers, the environment, the wastewater treatment process, and recycled products from sewage treatment plants. But, only some businesses need permits or formal authorization to send industrial waste to the sewer. Your answers to the survey will help determine what your organization needs.
Yes. The survey is designed so that you can review your survey answers first and then sign online. The person who signs confirms they are responsible for the accuracy of the survey information.
King County Industrial Waste has been working with businesses since 1969. We help them comply with water quality regulations. The quality of life in our region needs both a strong economy and a clean environment. Our waterways are cleaner today than in previous decades because business practices have improved.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Department of Ecology require King County to conduct this survey.
Many regulations govern the wastewater treatment process. King County is required to inform you of the following:
- Any industrial wastewater your business may send to the sanitary sewer must meet “discharge limitations” detailed in the King County Code and King County Local Discharge Limits.
- If you send certain hazardous wastes to a King County sanitary sewer you are required to notify King County, US EPA, and the Washington State Department of Ecology. By correctly filling out the required survey, we can help you determine your reporting requirements under federal, state and local regulations.