The City inspects industrial properties and businesses and takes samples of wastewater discharged to the sewer system. The City ensures the samples meet the strict limits set by the Sewers By-law for hazardous waste and other harmful contaminants, such as heavy metals. Failure to comply with the By-law can result in fines up to $100,000 per day.
Some waste, like wastewater from food processing plants (i.e., breweries, dairies, and meat packers) are treatable at the City’s sewage treatment plants. In these cases, industries can enter into an Industrial Waste Surcharge Agreement with Toronto Water.
Other waste, like hauled sewage, cannot be discharged into the sewers, but can be delivered to certain sewage treatment plants under a Hauled Sewage Discharge Agreement.
Sometimes industries require time to resolve the issue causing the discharge over the limit. In these cases, industries can enter into a Compliance Program Agreement where a period of time is granted to rectify the issue.
Information regarding each program can be found below. For more information regarding applications and guidelines, contact 311.
Industries or businesses that exceed discharge limits for specific treatable parameters can enter into an agreement to have the City treat the excess amount.
The treatable parameters and unit cost per kilogram of parameter being treated is below (as of April 1, 2016). In addition to the rate, there is an annual minimum fee.
|Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)||$0.64|
|Total Suspended Solids (TSS)||$0.70|
|Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN)||$1.43|
|Total Phosphorus (TP)||$2.24|
For a list of organizations with Industrial Waste Surcharge Agreements (as of December 31, 2017), see the Sewers and Water Supply By-laws Compliance and Enforcement Annual Report.
Under certain circumstances and conditions, hauled sewage can be delivered to the Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment. This includes sewage from:
Only hauled sewage generated within the City of Toronto will be accepted.
All dumps will be made under Toronto Water supervision will require a completed manifest and samples will be collected for testing after each load. The fee for disposal of septic waste is $27.86/m³ (220 gallons) of waste.
Companies can enter into a formal agreement with the City if they require additional time to obtain the necessary equipment or implement prevention measures to resolve the issue causing the discharge of a contaminant over the bylaw limit.
The Compliance Program Agreement enables the company to discharge to the sanitary sewer under new temporary higher limits while taking the corrective action, based on strict conditions and timelines as defined in the agreement.
The Sewers and Water Supply By-law Compliance and Enforcement Annual Report contains details on these agreements.