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Laboratory/Pretreatment Program


The WMA Laboratory tests the incoming wastewater and treated wastewater discharged to Little Neshaminy Creek every day of the year.  Samples are also collected at different points in the treatment process to make sure the process is producing the cleanest water possible.  Samples from the solids handling process are collected to make sure that the biosolids meet the standards for land application to cropland.  The laboratory also collects samples to send to other laboratories that can do more advanced testing.  The laboratory is also responsible for special testing projects.


The goals of our Pretreatment Program are to protect the wastewater treatment plant process, collection system, personnel, and the environment.  To achieve these goals, WMA focuses on 3 types of dischargers.

  • Industrial - Each industrial user in our sewer service area is issued a Wastewater Discharge permit.  The permit limits the amount and type of pollutants that can be discharged to the sewer system.  The Pretreatment staff issues permits, collects samples of industrial discharges, does on-site inspections of industrial users to verify compliance and takes enforcement action, if needed.
  • FOG - FOG (Fats, Oils and Grease) is a major cause of sewer line blockages.  FOG also causes problems at the wastewater treatment plant resulting in increased costs.  FOG Program staff inspect restaurants and other businesses which serve food to make sure they are following best management practices to keep as much FOG as possible from entering the sewer system.
  • Dental OfficesDental offices are the largest source of mercury discharged to wastewater treatment plants in the United States.  Mercury can make its way through the wastewater treatment plant into the environment.  Most dental offices are required by law to install an amalgam separator.  The amalgam separator captures mercury at the source so it can be recycled.  WMA staff assists dental offices in meeting the requirements of this regulation.