Water Pollution Control

Organization & Service Area

Defiance Water Pollution Control (WPC) division is responsible for over 100 miles of sewer lines and 25 pump stations in addition to operating a 6.5 million gallon per day treatment plant.  The sewage is conveyed to the wastewater treatment plant through sanitary sewer lines ranging from 6-inches to 54-inches in diameter.  There are over 100 miles of sewer line throughout the city.

The treatment plant is responsible for processing and treating sewage from The City of Defiance, portions of Defiance County, and The Village of Ayersville.

The division consists of 3 administrative staff members, 4 plant operators, 1 chief operator, 4 maintenance mechanics, 4 equipment operators, and 1 lab chemist.

Per Ohio EPA, WPC is required to administer a pretreatment program. Responsibilities include monitoring non-domestic industrial users to ensure that their wastewater discharges comply with federal, state, and local regulations and requirements. The pretreatment program’s primary goal is the employee’s safety, the protection of the sewer system, treatment plant, and the receiving stream from harmful or toxic discharges.

“Achieving environmental standards and providing quality and dependable service for our customers through teamwork.”

Wastewater Treatment Process




Contact Information:

Water Pollution Control
26273 State Route 281 East
Defiance, Ohio 43512


Office Hours:
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Delivery Hours are Monday – Friday from 7:00 am – 3:00 pm.  The office is closed on holidays.

Superintendent – Mark Lehnert

Assistant Superintendent – Kevin Connor

Administrative Assistant – Angie Legg

sewer facts:

Combined sewers are sanitary wastewater and stormwater runoff that are collected in the same sewer. The combined flow is then transported to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Sometimes when it rains, combined sewers do not have enough capacity to carry all the flow to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  In these situations, a portion of the untreated wastewater discharges into the Maumee or Auglaize River, creating a combined sewer overflow (CSO). These overflows help to minimize backups in homeowner basements during heavy rainfalls.

Long Term Control Plan:
The City is currently working with OEPA on a Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) to reduce the amount of CSO’s during heavy rainfalls.  Over the last 30 years, the City has removed 17 CSO’s but still has 27 that remain active.  Although 27 remain, the City has done several projects to reduce the volume of overflows.

How to make a difference:
Remove downspouts from discharging into the sanitary sewer allowing storm water to “splash” on the ground.
Avoid using excess water during rain events. For example: avoid doing laundry.

Do not discard your grease into the drain. Scrape the grease into a can and dispose of it in the trash. Grease will build up in sewer lines restricting the flows.

Do not dispose of any wipes or feminine products in the toilet. These do not breakdown and can build up causing an obstruction.

For more information:
City of Defiance, WPC 419.782.0841

FOG stands for fats, oils, and grease and comes from: meats, lard, vegetable oils, shortening, butter or margarine, food scraps, baked goods, dairy products,sauces, and oils contained in industrial products such as motor oil, transmission fluid, hydraulic fluid, cutting fluids, ect. FOG is the leading cause of sanitary sewer overflows. A study in California found that about 78% of FOG-related sanitary sewer overflows were caused by residential areas. (Mitchell, Terry and Brook Parker. “Fats, Oil, and Grease Program CalFog Presentation, California Fats, Oils, and Grease workgroup, 26 January 2005.) What you do in your house really matters!

Why is FOG a problem:
When fats, oils, and grease get into the sewer system they stick to the inside of the pipes. Over time, FOG will build up in the pipe and create a blockage. Here are some possible results of a FOG clog:

•    Raw sewage overflowing into your home, yard, or street
•    Potential contact with disease-causing organisms, including E. Coli and Giardia ˡ
•    Expensive clean-up procedures
•    Increased sewer bills due to higher operation and maintenance costs to the sewer department
•    Damage to the environment, including algae blooms and fish kills.

How to make a difference:
•    For small amounts of grease, wipe out pots and pans with a paper towel after cooking and throw the paper towel in the garbage.
•    Scrape or pour grease and food scraps into a can or jar, then throw it in the garbage when it’s full.
•    Put a strainer into the sink drain to catch food scraps, and then throw the scraps in the garbage.
•    Never pour grease or food scraps down the sink or into the toilet.
•    Garbage disposals will not get rid of FOG. Disposals just move grease down the line and spread the problem!
•    Don’t rely on detergents that claim to dissolve grease. These products will also spread FOG through the sewer lines.

The best way to keep FOG from creating an overflow is to not let it get into the sewer in the first place!

For more information:
City of Defiance, WPC 419.782.0841


Recognize. Reduce. Recycle.

Mercury – also known as “quicksilver” since it is a silver-colored liquid at room temperature – is an element that does not break down in the environment. It occurs naturally and is found in oceans, rocks, and soils. Mercury becomes airborne as a gas or dust when rocks erode, volcanoes erupt, and soil decomposes; when people burn coal, oil, or natural gas as fuel; or when garbage containing mercury is incinerated.

Mercury in Defiance:
Mercury washed down the drain ends up at the City of Defiance Water Pollution Control Plant (WPC). Although most mercury is removed with solids at the plant, a small portion remains in the discharged wastewater. Our plant’s current discharge point is the Maumee River. Mercury discharged must be below a certain level set by the state. Removing even small amounts of mercury is expensive and may necessitate additional wastewater treatment facilities. However, with your help, the City may be able to reduce the amount of mercury in the Maumee River – without adding expensive treatment measures.

How can you help reduce mercury impacts:
1) Reduce the amount of mercury-containing products in your home. Recycling products is a great way to keep Mercury from entering the wastewater system.

Household Items That May Contain Mercury:

Ballasts (inflorescent lights), old alkaline batteries, appliance switches, mercurochrome, chest freezers, maze toys, gas pilot lights, contact lens solution, washing machines, light up sneakers, thermometers, household cleaners, thermostats, barometers, florescent lights, and/or chemistry sets.

2) When a mercury spill occurs, be sure to:

  • Increase ventilation in the room with outside air and close the room off from the rest of the house. Use fans for at least one hour to help ventilate.
  • When cleaning a mercury spill:
    DO NOT use a broom or paint brush
    DO NOT use a vacuum
    DO NOT use any cleaning products
  • Pick up the mercury with an eyedropper or scoop up beads with a piece of heavy paper.
  • Place the mercury, contaminated instrument and any broken glass in a plastic zipper bag. Place this zipper bag in a second, then third zipper bag (triple bag). Place bags in a sealed container.
  • Dispose of mercury in compliance with the state and local requirements.
  • If weather permits, leave windows open for approximately two days to assure the area is completely ventilated.

For more information:

Consumer Products Safety Information  800.638.2772

Poison Control  800.222.1222