Canada: City Hall Shakes Up Sewer Discharge By-law

Last Updated: February 22 2016
Article by Julie Abouchar

At its meeting of February 3, Toronto City Council voted to amend the Sewers By-law (Municipal Code Chapter 681) and the Water Supply By-law (Municipal Code Chapter 851) to address, in part, the discharge of certain pesticides, dental amalgams and wastewaters from the food services and auto servicing sectors.1,2,3 In addition, new provisions covering the discharge of private water (i.e., water not purchased from the City, including storm water) have caused concern among builders and land developers.

The bulk of the amendments came into effect February 4, 2016, with the effective date of the dental office Pollution Prevention (P2) Program reporting requirements deferred to May 31, 2016.4 Additional, significant changes to the sewer discharge standards are likely forthcoming. City staff are currently reviewing the list of "subject pollutants" in the Sewers By-law,5 as well as developing a risk-based approach to minimum reporting thresholds for subject pollutants.6,7,8,9

This will include evaluating the use of existing storm water limits. City Council has also directed Toronto Water to continue stakeholder consultations regarding the addition of a new Environmental Code of Practice for mobile washing business operations.

A summary of the recently adopted amendments follows.

Pesticide Discharges:

Toronto has adopted a "zero tolerance" approach for the discharge of a number of banned pesticides,10 effectively prohibiting the discharge of aldrin/dieldrin, chlordane, DDT, mirex, hexachlorobenzene and hexachlorocyclohexane to storm or sanitary sewers. An exception has been added to cover pesticides used by City Divisions for public health, safety and other regulated uses.11

Reference to the six "legacy" pesticides have been removed from Tables 1 and 2 in the Sewers By-law (which list the discharge limits to sanitary, combined and storm sewers),12 while the existing limits for pH and temperature have been added to those tables from elsewhere in the by-law.13 Otherwise, there have been no changes in the permitted discharge limits for any of the other listed parameters.

Dental Offices:

After filing their first Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan, dental offices won't have to submit a new P2 plan every six years unless there have been certain prescribed changes to the practice (such as a change in ownership, address, practice, number of patient chairs, brand of the amalgam separator, and/or a change in the third party company that services the device).14 All dental offices that discharge amalgam are now required to have amalgam separators,15 and the reporting requirements related to the maintenance of those amalgam separators have been amended.16

Food Service Establishments:

Currently, industrial premises where food is cooked, processed or prepared must install and maintain grease interceptors. (Note, industrial premises include all manufacturing, commercial, business, nonprofit and institutional premises, as distinguished from domestic or residential premises.) Installation is governed by the Ontario Building Code (OBC), which also references the maintenance-related provisions of a Canadian Standards Association standard (CSA B481 Series-12) for grease interceptors.17 The Sewers By-law has been amended to adopt the Food Service Establishment Environmental Code of Practice18 (consistent with the OBC and the CSA standard) that sets out grease interceptor installation and maintenance requirements for industrial operations, as well as, best kitchen practices to minimize grease from entering the sewer system.19

Automotive Service Facilities:

In the past, separate Best Management Practices (BMPs) have been developed for vehicle wash operations, automotive repair facilities and gas stations. To improve environmental performance, a BMP covering autobody repair and painting operations has been developed and merged with the existing automotive BMPs into one document that covers the entire automotive service sector.20 The Sewers By-law is amended is to align with the terminology used in the BMP and to clarify that any facility discharging sand, grit or similar materials requires sand and grit interceptors.21

Private Water:

The new definition of private water (i.e., water not purchased from the City but requiring disposal in a City sewer) now includes "storm water and/or groundwater accumulating or collected on private lands."22 According to BILD (the Building Industry and Land Development Association) and RESCON (the Residential Construction Council of Ontario), any discharge of storm water will now require a written approval by way of a discharge agreement or permit.23 In a brief to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, the two associations "view this as a big change as all developments have storm discharge which currently don't require any testing or sampling" and "metering would be very difficult."

Other Amendments:

A number of additional amendments have been made to clarify or enhance provisions related to private water, City-owned hydrants, maintenance access holes and sampling access points,24 and requirements in the event of a spill to the City's sewage works.25 In addition, a number of definitions have been added or amended and references to other legislation updated. For example, new or amended definitions have been made for the terms "groundwater," "person," "spill," "storm water" and specific types of water discharges, drainage and property interests.26

Footnotes

1 Tracking Status: Proposed Amendments to the Sewers and Water Supply By-laws (PW10.5); http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2016.PW10.5

2 Appendix A, Amendments to Municipal Code Chapter 681—Sewers and Municipal Code Chapter 851 – Water Supply; http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-87266.pdf

3 Appendix B, Explanation of Amendments to Municipal Code Chapter 681 – Sewers and Municipal Code Chapter 851 – Water Supply; http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-87267.pdf

4 Proposed Amendments to the Sewers and Water Supply By-laws, General Manager Toronto Water, January 5, 2016; http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-87265.pdf

5 Reviewing Subject Pollutants in the Sewers By-law, a decision of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, January 21, 2016, directing the General Manager, Toronto Water, to undertake a review of chemicals that could be added as "Subject Pollutants" in the Sewers By-law because these chemicals could impact the Toronto wastewater treatment plant operations. The review is to start in the fourth quarter of 2016 with a report back to the Committee in 2017; http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2016.PW10.6

6 Staff are considering a risk management tool to identify when a pollutant is approaching the sanitary sewer discharge limit. When a certain percentage is reached (staff have considered levels from 5% to 75% of the discharge limit), this would serve as a trigger to start taking action to ensure no exceedances occur over the discharge limit; http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-85008.pdf

7 Sewers By-law Pollution Prevention (P2) Program Stakeholder Update-2015 and Sewers and Water Supply By-law Amendments, City Council decision, December 9 and 10, 2015; http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2015.PW9.5

8 Sewers By-law Pollution Prevention (P2) Program Stakeholder Update – 2015 and Sewers and Water Supply By-law Amendments, Staff Report from the General Manager, Toronto Water, dated October 22, 2016, describes both the current batch of amendments and the proposed creation of a subject pollutant threshold reporting list (which has been held back from the current of amendments); http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-85002.pdf

9 See Footnote 4. The General Manager, Toronto Water, will report back to Council on the proposed subject pollutant threshold reporting list at a future, unspecified time.

10 See Footnote 4

11 Amending Section 681-2A(3)(1), Sanitary and combined sewer requirements to include pesticides exception

12 Amending Table 1 in Section 681-2 and Table 2 in Section 681-4, Storm sewer, sanitary sewer and combined sewer requirements to remove certain pesticide limits and replace with prohibitions and include temperature and pH requirements

13 Amending Section 681-2A(4)

14 Amending Sections 681-5B, 5E, 5F and 5G and adding 681-5J, Pollution prevention planning to exclude dental offices

15 Amending Section 681-10F, General to clarify amalgam separator requirements

16 Adding Section 681-5J

17 Canadian Standard Association, B481 Series-12 Grease Interceptors, which specifies the minimum requirements for the performance, safety and quality of grease interceptors.

18 Food Service Establishment Environmental Code of Practice; http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-85004.pdf

19 Amending Section 681-10B, General to include reference to Food Service Establishment Code (ECP) of Practice and clarify grease interceptor requirements.

20 Best Management Practices for Automotive Service Facilities in the City of Toronto; http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-85005.pdf

21 Amending Section 681-10D, General to align with Ontario Building Code wording and clarify sand and grit interceptor requirements

22 Adding the following definition to Section 681-1; Private Water – water originating from: (A) storm water and/or groundwater accumulating or collected on private lands; or (B) a private drainage or waterworks system; or (C) a well or any other subsurface extraction of groundwater; or (D) a permanent or temporary wastewater pond, water retention site or other area or site of surface water collection, whether natural or man-made, created, used or caused by or for renovation, repair, maintenance, demolition, construction-related or land development activity or activities; or (E) a tank, tanker truck, vessel, or other means of water storage and not supplied by the City; or (F), The permanent or temporary alteration of a natural or pre-existing drainage pattern; or (G) any combination of the above-noted activities, where the water from such activity would be discharged directly or indirectly to a municipal storm sewer or municipal sewer connection thereto and such activity is related to renovation, repair, maintenance, demolition construction or land development activity or activities at a property.

23 Letter from BILD and RESCON, dated January 20, 2016, submitted to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, re: PW10.5 Proposed Amendments to the Sewers and Water Supply By-laws; http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/pw/comm/communicationfile-58517.pdf

24 Amending Sections 681-10A(2)-(3)

25 Amending Sections 681-9B, 9C and 9D

26 By adding the above definitions to Section 681-1

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Julie Abouchar
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions