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City of Philadelphia

Industrial Waste

The PWD Industrial Waste Unit (IWU) protects the City's freshwater resources and wastewater treatment plants by enforcing local, state and federal regulations governing wastewater discharges to the City's wastewater and stormwater collection systems.

For questions about Backflow Compliance, please refer to the Cross Connection Control page


IWU issues permits regulating industrial, commercial and non-routine discharges to the City's sewers and wastewater treatment plants. All permits issued by IWU establish specific discharge, monitoring and reporting requirements. Failure to obtain a required permit or violation of permit conditions may be punishable by monetary fines. 

SIU permits regulate commercial and industrial production wastewater discharges to the City sewer system. Industries planning to, or currently, disposing production wastewater to the City sewers without a permit must complete a permit application. Industries can find guidance documents on the Industrial Waste Resources page. 

  • Groundwater Discharge Permit

Projects requiring disposal of groundwater or accumulated stormwater to the City sewers must obtain a groundwater discharge permit prior to discharge. Projects often requiring groundwater discharge permits include, but are not limited to, building construction and environmental site remediations. Persons requiring groundwater discharge permits must complete a permit application.

Authorized haulers of septage waste may dispose of those wastes at the City’s Southwest Water Pollution Control Plant after obtaining a hauled wastewater discharge permit. Companies seeking permission for disposal must complete a permit application

  • Manhole Pumpout Permit

Utilities may obtain a manhole pumpout permit for permission to discharge wastewater from underground infrastructure to the City’s sanitary and combined sewers. Utilities seeking a manhole pumpout permit should contact the Industrial Waste Unit. 


The surcharge program recovers the costs for treating wastewater that exceeds the characteristics of a normal residential wastewater. For specific information on the surcharge program and how surcharge bills are calculated, please consult surcharge brochure. For specific information on the City's laundromat surcharge, please consult the laundromat surcharge flyer

Sewer Rental Factor

A sewer rental factor (SRF) is a billing credit for commercial and industrial customers demonstrating on-site water loss (water in product, HVAC evaporative loss, boilers, etc.) of at least 5% of water used or 225,000 cubic feet per year, whichever is less. Customers seeking an SRF must complete the SRF application.

IWU Contacts

PWD - Industrial Waste Unit
1101 Market Street, 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-685-6236
Fax: 215-685-6232

IWU Baxter Field Office
9001 State Road
Philadelphia, PA 19136
Fax: 215-685-8008

PCB Minimization Survey

IWU administers PWD's PCB Pollutant Minimization Plan to identify sources of and reduce the discharge of PCBs to the City's sewer system.

To help the Industrial Waste Unit identify potential sources of PCBs that may be discharged to the City sewer system please complete this survey if your facility contains liquid cooled transformers or capacitors, or hydraulic equipment.