City of Saginaw MI -
Industrial Pretreatment Program

The Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP) is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The program requires the City of Saginaw to regulate the wastewater, stormwater, and discharges from industries into the City of Saginaw's collection system. As a result, the amount of pollutants released into the Saginaw Bay Watershed is reduced.

The purpose of the program is to:

  • Protect the City's Publically Owned Treatment Works (POTW)
  • Protect the collection systems
  • Protect the health and safety of the POTW workers
  • Prevent pollutant interference at the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and pollutant pass through to the Saginaw River
  • Prevent noncompliance of the City's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit
  • Protect the Saginaw River

The IPP is staffed by an administrator and two Environmental Compliance Analysts working Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30pm. Occasionally emergencies arise and weekend and night work is required of the personnel.

To administer the program, the Environmental Compliance Office issues permits for wastewater discharges, inspects industries regularly and samples wastewater discharges. They also handle complaints and compliance issues with regards to federal, state and local discharge regulations.

Permits are issued to industries based on their wastewater characteristics or volume of discharge. The permits require the industries to monitor for pollutants of concern such as Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Lead, Mercury, Oils and Grease or others. Permitted Industrial Users are required to sample, test their discharges, and submit compliance reports to the City of Saginaw.

Permitted Industrial User types include the following:

  • Categorical Industrial Users (CIUs) must comply with federal categorical standards as listed in the Code of Federal Regulations, 40 CFR 403.
  • Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) are regulated based on process flow, POTW loading, pollutants of concern, or as deemed necessary by the Control Authority (City of Saginaw) as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR 403.

City of Saginaw Regulations

View the Sewer Ordinance at the American Legal website.
Download the PDF explaining Discharge Limits


Non-Domestic Sewer User Survey
Discharge Permit Application
Significant Industrial User Compliance Monitoring Report Form

Helpful Links

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) IPP Overview
Michigan Dept of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) IPP Information
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Water Overview
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Pollution Prevention (P2)
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Mercury Pollution Prevention
Saginaw Area Storm Water Authority (SASWA)
SASWA Progress Report 2011
SASWA 2015 Newsletter
SASWA Progress Report 2015

Storm Water Tips

Household wastes: Dispose of household cleaners, chemicals, oil, automotive fluids, paint, and other potential toxins in ways that protect your family and your drinking water source. Remember in this area of the State we get our water from outer Saginaw Bay. What you put into our storm sewers and open drains goes to area rivers and then to Saginaw Bay. It does not get cleaned at a treatment plant. Do your "Bit for the Bay", dispose of chemicals properly.

Pharmaceuticals: Never flush unused or outdated medicines down the drain or toilet. These types of chemicals can get into our groundwater if you have an on-site septic system and eventually into your drinking water. Or if you are in the urban areas, the same rules apply, don't flush down the toilet. Studies show that waste water treatment plants are not designed to clean up water with pharmaceuticals in it and these chemicals are getting into our drinking water from the Great Lakes. Do your "Bit for the Bay" and dispose of these old or unused medicines at your local pharmacy or the Public Health Department. View Guidlines at

Fertilizer: The State of Michigan has passed a law, effective January 1, 2012, banning the use of harmful phosphorus lawn fertilizers in order to protect the Great Lakes and surface waters of our State. Check the label before buying fertilizer. The bag will show a series of three numbers, the middle number must be 0 (ZERO), this indicates the fertilizer contains no phosphorus and won't pollute our water resources. Do your "Bit for the Bay" purchase only phosphorus free fertilizers and tell your neighbors to do the same.

Rainwater: The only thing that should go down our storm drains is rainwater. Anything else, such as grass clippings, leaves, oil, vehicle fluids, fertilizer and pet waste is considered an ILLICIT DISCHARGE. If you witness suspicious dumping into storm drains, call our reporting Hot Line at 989-790-5258 or your local Department of Public Works / Service. Do your "Bit for the Bay" keep our storm water clean.

Home Septic Systems: In rural areas homes and some businesses have on-site septic systems to treat wastewater. These systems must be maintained properly. An improperly working septic system can pollute both surface water and groundwater. If you have a septic system have it checked and pumped every three years to insure it is working properly. In rural areas do not discharge wash water to the road side ditch or connect your septic system to the drain, this is an illicit discharge and a public health hazard. Remember it all drains to our rivers and the Great you want to swim in it?

Pet Waste: Be a responsible pet owner and prevent contamination of the surface water and groundwater in our area. We all share by cleaning up anything "left behind" on your walk. A clean walk is a great walk. You may not think your pet is the source of pollution, but there are a lot of pets out there, we all need to do our "Bit for the Bay" and help keep our surface waters as clean as possible.

RV Travel Trailer and Boat Waste Disposal: If you enjoy boating and camping remember to properly dispose of your black water tank waste at a designated RV or Boat Sanitary Dump Station. Improper disposal of wastes can contaminate the ground and our water resources. It can leave our Great Lakes - Not So Great! Go to to learn more.

Summer Lawn Watershed Care: What can you do to help keep our rivers and watersheds cleaner? Let's look at your summer chores or activities that have an impact on the stormwater runoff from your yards. Here is a list of what you can do to keep our rivers, stream, lakes and Great Lakes healthy:

  1. When you fertilize your lawn or gardens use only phosphorus free fertilizers (As of January 1, 2012 a Phosphorus ban went into law in Michigan).
  2. When applying fertilizers, keep a minimum 10 foot buffer zone from ditches or curbs. This prevents the fertilizer from getting into storm drainage systems.
  3. Fertilize only in the fall for a healthy lawn in the spring.
  4. When mowing your grass do not blow grass clippings into the street or ditch. Do not dump grass or leaves into storm drainage systems or county drains. When these materials decompose they take the oxygen out of the water that goes to our rivers. These materials also add nutrients that cause algae growth.
  5. Do not dump materials or liquids down the catch basins in our streets. All of these storm drains go directly to our rivers, streams, lakes and ultimately to our Great Lakes. What you dump in the drains is what you will be swimming or fishing in this summer. The Drains are only for the Rains!

Time for Trees: Winter doldrums got you down? Make plans to plant a tree (or ten!) in your yard come spring to improve your local habitat. Trees are both beautiful and functional. They shade your house from scorching sun in the summer and block it from icy winds in the winter. A mature tree canopy can intercept 1600 gallons of rainwater per year; this is stormwater that may otherwise run off of roofs and streets, causing pollution to local water bodies. Trees improve air quality by catching dust in the air and provide valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife.

When selecting trees for your yard, it is best to plant a variety of natives to prevent the spread of disease. By interspersing conifers and deciduous trees, you will ensure that your landscape is verdant throughout the year. Choose a fruiting tree, such as a chokecherry or plum, to attract birds and maybe even give yourself a canning project come fall.

Remember; for safety sake do not plant trees near the road right of way, keep at least sixty feet from the center of the road. Trees within the road right of way may be removed for safety of those traveling our area roads.

You can find trees at your local nursery or take part in an Arbor Day tree sale through your city or local Soil and Water Conservation District.

The hazards of melting snow: Winters can have a lot of snow, but in our mid-state region the thermometer can hit 45º in February or March. Although March can be the snowiest month of the year, it also marks the official start to spring. It brings the possibility of a few warm days. But it also means melting snow which produces muddy roads and soggy yards in the Saginaw Valley.

Unfortunately, the spring melt can wreak as much havoc on our local rivers, ponds and the Saginaw Bay as it does in our yards. That dirty snow which has sat for the last three or four months accumulating dust, trash, and other debris, will melt and carry its dirt and garbage down the street, gutters, ditches and into our local waterways.

The sheer volume of stormwater created by melting snow can often overwhelm local drainage systems. In a natural system, deep-rooted plants and tree roots absorb the melting snow. Sometimes the water collects in pockets on the land, creating vernal (seasonal) pools that act as breeding grounds for frogs, salamanders and insects such as dragonflies and damselflies. In our modern society, however, driveways, houses and roads often disrupt these natural systems. These hard surfaces cannot absorb the stormwater runoff and instead channel it to storm drains, culverts and local ponds. The result is flooding, stream bank erosion, and dirty water.

Increase the ability of your yard to absorb water by aerating your lawn, planting trees and deep-rooted plants, and building raingardens. A mature tree canopy will capture 1600 gallons of water per year, while a 100 sq. ft. raingarden will absorb another 9000 gallons.


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