Wastewater regulations overview

Cleaning up the nation’s largest source of water pollution is a priority. In Canada over 150 billion litres of untreated and undertreated wastewater (sewage) is dumped into our waterways every year. This is an environmental, human health and economic issue.

Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations

The Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (the Regulations), are established under the Fisheries Act and include mandatory minimum effluent quality standards that can be achieved through secondary wastewater treatment. Requirements for monitoring, record-keeping, reporting and toxicity testing are specified in the Regulations.

As of January 1, 2015, the following provisions of the Regulations came into effect:

  • The effluent quality standards set out in Section 6 of the Regulations.
  • Limits established for those systems with Transitional Authorizations are now in force.
  • Acute lethality monitoring requirements for wastewater systems that deposit an annual average daily effluent volume of greater than 2,500 m3 and are not covered by either a transitional or temporary authorization.

Regulatees are required by the Regulations to submit identification and other reports electronically in the form and format specified by the Minister of the Environment. For information on the reporting requirements for the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations, please consult - Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations Reporting

Bilateral Agreements

Environment and Climate Change Canada is working to establish agreements that reduce administrative burden for the Regulations and set out procedures for cooperation between federal and provincial and/or Yukon regulators.  For more information on these agreements, please consult - Bilateral Agreements.

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