The wastewater discharged by industries or commercial facilities is more challenging to treat than residential sewage.  It can contain harmful or toxic substances that can’t be removed by the normal sewer treatment process.  To make sure these chemicals do not interfere with the operation of the treatment plant or pass through the system untreated, the Yucaipa Valley Water District implemented a Pretreatment Program.

 The District's pretreatment program monitors certain dischargers and requires them to use proven pollution control techniques to remove pollutants from their sewage BEFORE discharging to the sewer collection system. This practice is known as “pretreatment”.

The District’s Pretreatment Program has four tactics:Pollution Prevention; Best Management Practices; Permits; and Inspections.

Additional information about the District's pretreatment program are contained in the following documents:

Did you know that what goes down your drain may end up in the natural water course? While wastewater treatment removes most pollutants, even trace amounts of some substances may be harmful to the environment. The best solution is to prevent pollution from going down the drain in the first place.


  1. Prior to washing plates, pots, and cooking utensils scrape all solid material into a proper waste receptacle and contain material so it does not leak. Properly dispose of this material to a solid waste trash receptacle to be hauled away.
  2. Install screens in all pot sinks, 2 and 3 compartment sinks, and floor sinks to catch solid materials to be properly disposed of to solid waste containers.
  3. Dispose waste deep fryer grease to proper water storage containers to be hauled away by a licensed waste hauler.
  4. Schedule to have grease interceptors pumped on a regular basis by a licensed waste hauler. The grease interceptor needs to be inspected regularly to determine if your pumping schedule is adequate.
  5. Make sure all waste storage areas and containers (dumpsters, compactors, used oil containers) are covered and kept clean.

Note: Any disposal of wash water to outside paved surfaces or storm drain is strictly prohibited. Whenever possible use dry cleaning methods by sweeping, damp mopping (as opposed to hosing) or using absorbents.

  1. Management should conduct ongoing inspections and training for employees to ensure that these BMPs are implemented regularly.
  2. Yucaipa Valley Water District prohibits all water softeners that are regenerated on site for all Commercial and Industrial dischargers.


Dispose of unwanted medicine properly.
For years, it was recommended to flush unwanted medicine down the drain to protect children and pets from accessing it, and to insure against illegal recovery of controlled substances. Today, there are better options. Check with a Riverside or San Bernardino County household hazardous waste collection center (household hazardous waste information in Riverside County 800-304-2226) or (San Bernardino County 909-382-5401)

Keep drains free of cooking fats, oil and grease.
When flushed down the drain, cooking fats, oils and grease, or FOG, can block sewer lines, causing raw sewage to back up into your home or into neighborhood streets and storm drains without any treatment. Keep your sewer lines FOG-free by scraping cooking fats into the garbage or into your food scrap recycling bin, where available – not down the drain.

Why shouldn't I just pour used cooking oil down the drain?
Cooking oil and grease poured down drains can build up in pipes causing backups at home into streets and the storm drain system. Proper disposal of your cooking oil and other greases and fats will help prevent a sewage backup in your home. Overflows can pose health and environmental hazards.

What about using my garbage disposal, hot water or detergent to wash grease down the drain?
These methods won't prevent grease from building up in sewer pipes. Home garbage disposals do not remove grease from the plumbing system. Hot water will cool down in pipes causing fats and grease to coagulate. Detergents that claim to dissolve grease may cause blockages to occur further down the pipeline.

May I throw cooking oil in the trash?
Small amounts of oil can be placed in tightly sealed, unbreakable containers in the trash. It is not recommended to dispose of large amounts in trash as containers may leak, causing problems with garbage trucks and at solid waste facilities.

Dispose of mercury-containing household items properly.
Because mercury is highly toxic to humans and wildlife, it's important to reduce the likelihood of mercury spills. Many household items contain mercury, such as mercury thermometers, thermostats, and washing machine switches. Take these items to a Riverside or San Bernardino County household hazardous waste collection center (household hazardous waste information in Riverside County 800-304-2226) or (San Bernardino County 909-382-5401)

Take paint, motor oil and other household hazardous waste to a local collection center.
Never pour unwanted household chemicals, such as paint thinner, pesticides, fertilizers or automotive waste, down the drain. Take these items to a Riverside or San Bernardino County household hazardous waste collection center (household hazardous waste information in Riverside County 800-304-2226) or (San Bernardino County 909-382-5401

Use less-toxic cleaning products.
Some cleaning products contain toxic compounds that can be harmful. Look for products that are less-toxic and bio-degradable.

Gardening the environmental friendly way.
Fertilizers and pesticides, such as herbicides and insecticides, can be harmful to the environment and natural water course. Never pour them down the drain at home or in the street, and be careful to never apply them before a storm. Look for less-toxic alternatives.

Washing your car the environmental friendly way.
Washing cars at home can send soap, oil and other pollutants down storm drains and to the natural water course. Instead, professional car wash facilities per-treat their dirty water to remove most pollutants and then send the partially-treated wastewater to a treatment plant, such as City of Yucaipa's wastewater treatment plant, to remove the remaining contaminants.