Safety Policies

SY40 Disposal of Pollutants in University Sanitary Systems

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

David Swisher, 867-6123,

Policy Steward: 

Director of Environmental Health and Safety



This policy sets forth uniform requirements on the proper use of the University Sanitary System at all locations of The Pennsylvania State University (except Hershey Medical Center).


This program applies to employees, students, visitors and persons contracted by PSU, hereinafter referred to as “User” on the University Park and all other Penn State campuses and locations, (except Hershey Medical Center).


Only wastewater that meets the requirements outlined in Appendix A are permitted be drained to the University sanitary system. Introduction of tainted wastewater or pollutants that would result in violations of the University’s water quality permit, NPDES permit, or appropriate sewer use regulation or ordinance of the local Sewer Authority providing sanitary sewer service to the campus or PSU facility are not permitted.

This policy prohibits the disposal of materials that could adversely affect the general public or wastewater personnel in the course of their work; could interfere with the operation of the University Sanitary Sewer system; could pass through inadequately treated into the environment or otherwise be incompatible with the University Sanitary System; or interfere with the safe reuse and recycling of wastewater and sludge from the University Sanitary System or local Sewer Authority providing sanitary sewer service to the Campus.

No user shall introduce or cause to be introduced into the University Sanitary System the pollutants, wastewater, or substances as specified in Appendix A.  In addition, materials and procedures to prevent a release must be available to prepare for a potential spill.

Any questions should be directed to the Supervisor of Water Quality, or at non-University Park locations, the Directors of Business Services or their designee.

The list of specific materials that are prohibited from drain disposal can be found in Appendix A.


Budget Executives and Budget Administrators

  • Ensure that responsibilities assigned within this policy are carried out within their administrative work unit.
  • Monitor implementation of this policy within their work unit.

Energy and Engineering, Office of Physical Plant

  • Assist work units in implementing this policy.
  • Develop training materials and other resources related to this policy.
  • Periodically audit and update the program as needed.

University Safety Council Representatives (a.k.a. Safety Officers)

  • Be knowledgeable of this policy and communicate its content throughout areas of jurisdiction.
  • Initiate proper follow-up measures and ensure corrective actions are implemented to comply with the policy.
  • Monitor and ensure compliance within their work unit.


  • Be thoroughly informed of the contents of this policy and how it applies to their areas of responsibility and authority.
  • Ensure employees comply with all provisions.
  • Take prompt corrective action when violations are observed or reported.


  • Comply with all provisions.
  • Promptly report any related concerns related to their immediate supervisor.


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.


Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

RP11 - Use of Biohazardous Materials in Research and Instruction

SY01 - Environmental Health and Safety Policy

SY14 - Use of Radioactive Materials

SY20 - Hazardous Waste Disposal

SY24 - Use of Regulated and Biohazardous Materials in Research and Instruction


Most Recent Changes:

  • January 13, 2023 - Editorial change to update Subject Matter Expert and Policy Steward.
  • June 21, 2018 - Editorial change. In CROSS REFERENCES, updated link to Policy RP11, Use of Biohazardous Materials in Research and Instruction.

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • June 19, 2014 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
  • August 3, 2011 - New Policy

Date Approved: 

June 21, 2018