To protect aquatic environments, public health and safety, sewage works, wastewater treatment processes and to control biosolids quality, federal and provincial governments regulate the quality and quantity of substances of concern discharged into the environment via the municipal sewer systems. As a result, municipalities have enacted Sewers bylaws.
On July 6, 2000, Toronto City Council passed a new Sewers Bylaw (PDF). By-law 457-2000 found in Chapter 681 of the Municipal Code, provided a two-year phase-in period for facilities to meet the proposed new limits found in this section. The By-law was drafted after consultation with Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE), Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention (C2P2), and the World Wildlife Fund. It underwent public consultation to obtain input from industry, industry associations, environmental groups and other stakeholders. For updates to Municipal Code, Chapter 681, see here: www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/
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The City of Toronto is one of the first municipalities in Canada to incorporate Pollution Prevention (P2) Planning requirements into its Sewer use By-law.
- lower limits on 11 heavy metals: As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mo, Ni, Pb, Se, Zn
- inclusion of 27 organics: e.g., benzene, chloroform, alkylphenols, toluene, DDT
- requirement for Pollution Prevention (P2) Planning for 38 subject pollutants
- requirement for advanced waste amalgam separators in dental clinics
The Sewers Bylaw sets strict limits on heavy metals and toxic organic compounds in wastewater discharged to the sanitary and storm sewers and natural watercourses. A new section on Pollution Prevention (P2) Planning (Chapter 681, Section 5 of the Municipal Code) includes compliance and enforcement, which comes under the City’s Environmental and Protection Unit.
Learn more about the background of the Toronto's Sewers Bylaw.