Alternative Discharge Control Mechanism (ADCM) Program
What is it?
Alternative Discharge Control Mechanisms (ADCMs) are authorizations to discharge wastewater to the City of Portland's ("the City's") sanitary sewer system per ENB-4.03. ADCMs typically require an annual certification and requires implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to minimize pollutants to the City's sanitary sewer. ADCMs are typically issued to those industries that regularly discharge to the sanitary sewer. Conversely, Batch Discharge Authorizations are issued to limited duration projects (e.g. de-watering of a short-term construction site).
The ADCM Program currently manages the following subprograms by industry sector:
Businesses that conduct asbestos abatement and structural demolition activities have the potential to discharge asbestos and lead paint particulates along with other pollutants that, if not properly treated, may jeopardize public health. Wastewater discharges from abatement or demolition activities are prohibited from entering the City stormwater system, but may be authorized to enter the sanitary sewer system with authorization from Environmental Services.
Environmental Services has developed an ADCM for craft fermented beverage manufacturers who discharge wastewater to the sewer system. The ADCM is for those industries whose discharges fall below the volume requirement for a "traditional" industrial wastewater discharge permit. Environmental Services collaborated with the Oregon Distilling Guild and the Oregon Brewers Guild during program development.
Environmental Services has developed an ADCM for dental offices that place or replace dental amalgam and discharge wastewater to the sanitary sewer system. Amalgam or "silver filling" is made of silver, tin, copper, mercury, and other metals. The pollutant of concern from these facilities is mercury. For new facilities, the ADCM requires an initial compliance certification and an annual compliance certification. Existing facilities require an annual compliance certification. The ADCM requires affected facilities to implement BMPs to ensure mercury to the sanitary sewer is minimized.
The City requires mobile washing businesses to collect and discharge washwater into the sanitary sewer system. Washwater is prohibited from entering the City's stormwater system. Pollutants of concern are pH and oil and grease. The mobile vehicle washing ADCM requires BMPs to ensure that all washwater is collected, the washwater meets City discharge limits, and sanitary sewer overflows are prevented. Other requirements may include specific volume and rate of discharge limits and a "dry weather only" provision.