The City of Toronto Sewers By-law (Municipal Code, Chapter 681) aims to protect public safety, the environment and City infrastructure by setting strict limits on what can be discharged into the sewers system and natural watercourses.

  • Some substances are completely prohibited, where others are restricted to defined safe limits.
  • Nothing other than rain and melted snow should ever enter a catch basin (square grates on the road).
    • Catch basins are connected to storm sewers, which drain directly into rivers, streams and the Lake.
    • Anything other than stormwater can harm the environment, cause sewer damage and lead to flooding.

Toronto Water is working to educate residents and businesses about their role in upholding the By-law, and ensuring compliance through regular monitoring, sampling, testing and inspection.

Spills Response

What to do if you experience or witness a spill, and how the City responds.

What Not to Flush or Pour Down the Drain

Understand what should never go down the drain and how to dispose of these items safely.

How to Drain a Pool, Hot Tub & Spa

How to dispose of water from pools, hot tubs and spas based on the chemicals used and type of facility.

Discharging Private Water to the Sewer System

A permit or agreement is required to discharge private water into the sewer system.

Pollution Prevention (P2) Program for Businesses

Businesses that discharge certain pollutants must prepare and submit a Pollution Prevent (P2) Plan.

Mandatory Grease Traps for Food Service Establishments

Establishments that cook and prepare food must install, operate and maintain grease traps on pipes that connect to the sanitary sewer.

Programs & Permits for Industrial Waste Control

City programs to help industrial customers manage discharge that does not meet Sewers By-law limits.

How to Manage Construction Wastewater & Debris

Tips to properly dispose of wastewater and debris from construction.

Washing Cars & Outdoor Areas

Tips to help residents and businesses safely dispose of water from outdoor washing.

Managing Foundation Drainage

The Foundation Drainage Policy and Guidelines apply to all new development applications starting January 1, 2022.