Effluent Regulatory Reporting Information System user guide: chapter 1

1.0 Introduction

The purpose of this user guide is twofold.  Firstly, it serves to provide users with information about logging into Environment Canada’s Single Window Information Manager (otherwise referred to as SWIM) with the goal of setting up a profile about the wastewater organization and facility that are required to comply with the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER).

Additionally, this document serves to provide users with guidance about navigating and performing functions within the Effluent Regulatory Reporting Information System (ERRIS).  This web based application has been developed by Environment Canada (EC) to facilitate the reporting of information as required under the WSER, as well as to allow establishing the environment for the future gathering of effluent related data and reports that may be required in other regulations or permits.  The initial release of ERRIS will provide WSER Regulatees with the ability to submit the WSER Identification Report.   Future releases will include additional functionality or enhancements including the submission of the on-going WSER effluent monitoring reports.

1.1 Project Background

Single Window Information Manager (SWIM)

Environment Canada’s Single Window was initiated to reduce the administrative cost and paperwork burden of regulatory compliance.  It was developed in response to industry requests to streamline and simplify environmental reporting requirements. 

The Single Window Information Manager is used by Environment Canada, provincial and municipal governments and private sector organizations to collect environmental data from industry. 

A number of programs are currently utilizing this solution for their regulatory reporting needs.  Examples of supported programs include the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), Environment Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting (GHGRP), as well as several provincial agencies.

Access to SWIM

The Government of Canada (GC) uses electronic ‘credentials’ to allow users to communicate securely with online-enabled Government of Canada services.  Credentials in information systems are widely used to control an individual's access to information or services (e.g. either a card number or a user name/identification (ID), combined with a password is a typical example of a credential).

If you do not already have an account, you must first create one in order to access SWIM.  The GC recognizes two equally secure options in order to create (i.e.: register) an account or to login via your account in order to enter SWIM.

The Government of Canada itself via its new government-issued credential called GCKey.  Released in the fall of 2012, GCKey replaces Access Key.

Commercial credential service called SecureKey Concierge (i.e.: via your online banking service if it is one of the partners).  Note that although only three financial institutions are amongst the initial credential service providers, it is expected that other commercial credential providers will be added in the future.

After logging in via GCKey or SecureKey Concierge, a user will be linked to SWIM.  Within SWIM, a user can then create their user profile if they do not already have one.  As well, they can create or update information pertaining to their organization and facility and then connect to ERRIS.

 The first person who enters any organization and facility information in SWIM is considered the Organization Lead for that particular organization.  This same person will be able to grant access (i.e.: or a user role) for any Regulatee to create and submit reports in ERRIS and to any Signing Authority to approve reports.  This Organization Lead can grant access for themselves or other individuals who will assume either a Regulatee or Signing Authority role.  Additional details are available in Section 7 (Manage Access).

Effluent Regulatory Reporting Information System

In 2009, the federal government represented by Environment Canada along with many  provinces and the Yukon endorsed the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent (CCME Strategy).  Within this strategy, a commitment was made by Environment Canada to develop national effluent quality standards through regulations under the Fisheries Act.  Additionally, Environment Canada made a commitment to develop a database to house regulatory reporting information.

In order to determine compliance with the national effluent quality standards, those owners and operators of wastewater systems that are subject to the WSER are required to submit reports on the concentrations of those deleterious substances that are defined in the WSER.  Additionally, WSER regulatees are required to submit data on the volume of effluent deposited and, for certain wastewater systems, the results of acute lethality testing.

Environment Canada has developed the Effluent Regulatory Reporting Information System for the owners of affected wastewater systems to submit identification reports, on-going effluent monitoring reports, transitional and temporary authorization applications as well as other reports related to the WSER.  This reporting system will eliminate the need to submit these reports on paper and assist Environment Canada and its partners with monitoring, compliance, and enforcement activities. 

January 2013 marks the initial implementation of ERRIS by Environment Canada.  The first phase of ERRIS permits wastewater facilities or regulatees to create and submit identification reports. Future phases of functionality will include such features as:

1.2 Additional Resources and Assistance

This guide contains helpful instructions about logging into a regulatory program via SWIM as well as on the use of the ERRIS web based application.  Much of the SWIM material presented in this document originated from the SWIM user guide entitled “A User’s Guide to SWIM v10”.  Please refer to that document should you require additional details about using SWIM.  Also, a glossary of terms for SWIM and ERRIS concepts is provided.

Should you require additional information or assistance with GCKey, SWIM or ERRIS, please refer to “Appendix A - Contact Us” for the EC contact information.

If you require additional information about WSER sampling and reporting requirements, please refer to the Department of Justice web site at:

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