King County Industrial Waste Newsletter - Fall 2023

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King County Industrial Waste Program Newsletter - Fall 2023

In this issue

  • Fees for BOD and TSS are increasing
  • Removing your sampling site? KCIW needs to pick up our sampling equipment!
  • Reporting sample results that are below the method detection limit (MDL)
  • New reporting requirement for split samples
  • Awards shorts
  • The next comprehensive KCIW survey
  • Equity and Social Justice in KCIW
  • WTD's Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station is online

Unit costs for BOD and TSS are increasing – new rates will be reflected in 2024 annual estimates

The King County Industrial Waste Program (KCIW) is currently working on providing annual estimate letters to companies that pay compliance monitoring & administration (CM&A) fees and/or surcharge treatment fees. If your company is subject to high-strength organic surcharge treatment fees, please note that for calendar year 2024, the unit costs for Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) will be increasing. Beginning January 1, 2024, the rates for BOD and TSS will be $0.4419 per pound (BOD) and $0.4715 per pound (TSS). 

Table showing new BOD and TSS rates to be .4419 per pound and .4715 per pound respectively.

More changes may be coming 

KCIW is working with the Wastewater Treatment Division’s Finance Department as well as a consultant to review the percent cost allocation attributable to removal of BOD and TSS at the County’s wastewater treatment plants. Typically, this percent allocation study is performed about every 5 years to ensure that appropriate costs are charged for high-strength organic waste treatment.

Let KCIW know if you're removing a sampling site(s)!

If you are going to be decommissioning or removing a sampling site(s), please let your KCIW investigator know as soon as possible. Our sampling team needs advanced notice so that we can collect our sampling equipment and flow proportional cable(s) from the sample site(s). Please do not throw KCIW’s expensive equipment away; we can reuse it at a different facility.

Read more about KCIW fees and surcharges

How to report sample results that measure less than the method detection limit (MDL)

KCIW-permitted facilities may be required to collect self-monitoring effluent samples and report the results on discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) to KCIW. When reporting sample results measured to be less than the method detection limit (MDL), please report the result with the less than sign (<), followed by the MDL value - Example:  < 0.05

Please contact your assigned IW Compliance Investigator if you have any questions.

New reporting requirement for split samples

Do you request split samples from your King County Industrial Waste Specialist? If so, there are new reporting requirements you must follow.  

You must submit all analytical results for samples from the approved sampling site even if you voluntarily collected the samples. This includes samples you take and split samples you obtain from KCIW. Please submit all data with your self-monitoring report for the month. The frequency of self-monitoring and reporting required in your permit remains the same even if you obtained, analyzed, and reported split samples.

When you renew your permit, you will notice the following new language (highlighted in bold below) related to split samples in your permit condition S4.B – please note that the new reporting requirements are effective immediately under all existing permits as well.

S4. B. Non-Required Self-Monitoring and Split Sampling

All sampling data collected by the permittee and from split samples obtained from KCIW’s sampling, at the points of compliance, and analyzed using procedures approved by 40 CFR 136 or approved alternatives shall be submitted to KCIW whether required as part of this permit or done voluntarily by the permittee. Split samples obtained from KCIW’s sampling shall not be used as replacement for required self-monitoring as outlined in permit condition S4.A.

Note: you are not required to analyze split samples, but we encourage you to do so.

Learn how to properly use the chain of custody form and handle split samples in this fact sheet

A copy of a split sample chain of custody record form

Awards Shorts

Reminder: EnvirOvation award applications due Nov 30th

KCIW encourages all permitted facilities to apply for its annual EnvirOvation Award for excellence in pretreatment. For a downloadable application and to learn about the awards criteria, visit KCIW’s awards and recognition page.

Commitment to Compliance award presentations

Congratulations again to our 2022 Commitment to Compliance Award recipients who received their awards in person this year after a long pandemic break from in-person presentations!! See two of the three awardees pictured below.

icon of a water drop inside a circle in blue, green, and yellow
Collage of two photos showing employees at Boeing Electronics Center and Primus International holding their award plaques.

The next comprehensive survey will help KCIW better protect regional water quality

decorative icon of a clipboard, a checkmark, and the word survey

In March 2016, King County surveyed 24,000 businesses about the wastewater they generate and send to the regional sewer system. This comprehensive survey was the largest industrial user survey conducted since King County’s Industrial Waste program began operating in 1969. We are now getting ready to do a follow-up to this survey.

The next survey is planned to take place in 2024. The data we gather will help King County maintain an accurate list of businesses within our service area and better understand which companies may need to be monitored or their wastewater be treated before discharging it to the sanitary sewer system. The 2024 survey will also collect information about PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals”. The PFAS data will help King County develop best management practices (BMPs) for businesses to keep PFAS out of wastewater and, in turn, out of our regional waterbodies. All companies must manage their wastewater properly but only some need permits or formal authorization to send industrial wastewater to the sanitary sewer.

Responses to the survey will support King County’s efforts to protect regional water quality and comply with federal requirements. We will hire a local research firm to help us gather as much data as possible. We will provide more information about this effort in 2024.

Equity and Social Justice in KCIW: Watch This Space

At King County, our work is guided by our True North and values. Our True North is what we aspire to: Making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. Our values define the way we act, what’s important to us, and our expectations for ourselves and one another.

In 2010, Executive Dow Constantine signed an ordinance that requires the principles of equity and social justice (ESJ) to be included in all strategic planning, comprehensive planning, and policy decisions at King County. These principles are outlined in the King County Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan, which was initially published in 2016 and is in the process of being updated and expanded to refresh our vision, focus, and commitment to equity, racial, and social justice.

ESJ efforts are a priority of WTD and IW staff. Our external initiatives are designed to advance ESJ outcomes within and for communities and residents of our service area. Internally, our initiatives include focused training and skill development for WTD employees so that they may advance ESJ through their daily work.

We are eager to share this work with you. We will include articles from time to time that highlight what we are doing to integrate and advance equity and inclusion in the workplace and the work that we do.

KCIW’s new website

black and white drawing of a tree with roots and leaves

King County has updated its website with a new look that's designed to be simple and easy to use on all your devices. If you are looking for information on our Industrial Waste pages and can’t find it or have a suggestion to make something easier to find, please let us know at

WTD Highlight: We’re ready for rain in Georgetown!

King County Wastewater Treatment Division’s Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station is now operating, cleaning millions of gallons of combined sewage and stormwater runoff that may have otherwise flowed directly into the Duwamish River and Puget Sound during significant storm events. If you are in Georgetown, keep an eye on the facility after large rain events. When it's time to start processing the polluted stormwater, our facility will light up so you know it's working. This wonderful piece of art, "Theater of a Storm", by Blanca Lighting, was developed based on community requests to understand when the station was operational. Learn more about the station and its construction.

photo of an industrial facility lit up with blue and white lights