Discharge, spill, and noncompliance reporting and monitoring

Registered CAFOs and AFOs

Discharge and spill reporting

  1. Any discharge of pollutants to waters of the state (which include surface water, groundwater, or features like dry gullies or storm sewers leading to surface water) must be reported to 1-877-518-5608 within 24-hours of discovery. The notification must describe, at a minimum:
  • The date, time, estimated length of time, and approximate volume of the discharge.
  • The cause of the discharge.
  • The level of wastewater in the discharging impoundment(s).
  • Whether the discharge entered, or could enter, waters of the United States. 
  1. A spill which does not reach surface water does not have to be reported, but will likely require clean up and mitigation. Contact your Ag Program representative to determine what actions are necessary. 

Permitted CAFOs

Discharge and noncompliance monitoring

  1. Any instance of non-compliance which may endanger human health or the environment or any time a permit limitation is exceeded must be reported orally to 1-877-518-5608 within 24-hours. In addition, a written report with the following information must be mailed to the Ag Program within 5 days:
  • A description of the cause.
  • The period of noncompliance, including exact dates and times.
  • The anticipated time when the conditions will return to compliance.
  • Steps being taken to reduce, eliminate, and prevent recurrence.
  • The results of discharge monitoring performed, if required.

Examples of noncompliance which must be reported within 24 hours:

  • A spill of manure or wastewater that could endanger a sensitive area like a wetland.
  • A discharge to surface water from an from an impoundment that has been above the pump-down level for a significant amount of time.
  • A discharge to surface water from an impoundment that has not been adequately dewatered because the build up of solids has impacted the capacity.
  • A discharge to surface water due to an equipment malfunction, like a pipe leaking during land application.  
  • A discharge to surface water because of operator error, like failing to turn a pump off.
  1. All other instances of noncompliance with a discharge permit must be reported to the Ag Program within 30 calendar days. The following information must be provided in writing:
  • A description of the cause of noncompliance.
  • The period of noncompliance, including exact dates and times and/or the anticipated time when the conditions will return to compliance.
  • Steps being taken to reduce, eliminate, and prevent recurrence.

Examples of non-compliance that only require a written report within 30 calendar days:

  • A spill from an impoundment that does not reach waters of the state and is contained on the CAFO’s property (e.g. the spill only goes to a nearby land application site). 
  1. Permitted discharges (in accordance with the limitations in the facility’s permit) must be reported to the Ag Program within 5 calendar days. In addition, the following information must be provided in writing to the Ag Program within 30 days: 
  • A description of the discharge, including the cause.
  • The period of discharge, including exact dates and times,
  • The estimated volume of the discharge.
  • The results of the discharge monitoring listed above.

Permitted CAFOs

Discharge monitoring

The following monitoring is required during any discharge to surface water from a permitted CAFO (once conditions are safe to do so).

  • Flow (million gallons per day) - measure as close to the beginning, middle, and end of the event as possible
  • Biological oxygen demand (BOD, mg/L) - collect one grab sample
  • Total suspended solids (TSS, mg/L) - collect one grab sample
  • E. coli (organisms/100 mL) - collect one grab sample
  • Nitrate (mg/L as N) - collect one grab sample
  • Total ammonia (mg/L as N) - collect one grab sample

The samples listed above must be collected from the discharge point identified in the permit, after leaving the impoundment, and prior to mixing with surface water.