Q: What is an Alternative Discharge Control Mechanism?
A: An Alternative Discharge Control Mechanism, also called an ADCM, is an alternative to a traditional discharge permit. The ADCM requires adherence to business specific best management practices to control pollutants.
Q:If my business generates small volumes of process wastewater am I still required to obtain an ADCM?
A: Yes. Craft Fermented Beverage Manufactures discharge substances that have pH levels outside of the City’s wastewater discharge range for pH (5.0 – 11.5 standard units). Wastewater with pH levels outside of the permissible range can damage sewer pipes and is a violation of City and Federal Code. By ensuring wastewater pH is with standards, Craft Fermented Beverage manufacturers help protect our City’s valuable wastewater infrastructure.
Q: If my business does not have a wastewater monitoring structure that meets the criteria in the City’s Administrative Rules for Monitoring Access Structures (MAS), will the ADCM require me to install a MAS that meets the requirements of the rule?
A: No. However, the ADCM does require your business to establish a point to monitor pH before discharge to the City. This could be a tank or drum that collects wastewater and allows for pH testing and adjustment prior to discharging to the sewer system. City Administrative Rule ENB-4.35 (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/article/590513) details the criteria for businesses to install a MAS meeting the rule requirements.
Q: Is there a fee for the Alternative Discharge Control Mechanism?
A: Yes. For 2018 the fee is $100 and will be assessed annually to cover the cost to administer the ADCM. The City anticipates assessing the first annual fee in 2019.
Q: Will my business be inspected?
A: Yes. The program’s goal is to inspect each facility once every 3 to 5 years. The City inspector will review pH monitoring discharge logs, pH probe and calibration chemicals, pH monitoring location, drain screens, secondary containment, and if possible test the wastewater pH.