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In 2009, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) adopted a national Waste Water Effluents Strategy that recommends/expects municipalities to adopt and implement an updated sewer use bylaw.   The text of the recommended CCME Model Sewer Use By-Law is set out in a 2006 report that CCME commissioned, Model Sewer Use Bylaw Development Report. Now it is starting to spread across Canada.The model bylaw offers a menu of options. It starts with a core, or basic bylaw for communities that are primarily residential, with some commercial activities, such as restaurants, auto repair garages and dental services. The Core Bylaw addresses sanitary, combined and storm sewer use. Schedules A and B outline a core list of prohibited and restricted wastes for sanitary and combined sewers. A Supplementary List of Substances provides additional options for controlling additional parameters.

For municipalities with more complex sewer quality challenges, the model contains “Advanced Clauses” for industrial sewer use controls and other source protection initiatives. This includes pollution prevention planning, codes of practice and associated programs, such as compliance programs.

Slowly, the new model is spreading to municipalities across Canada. Peel used it in 2010, York in 2011; Vancouver, Durham and Hamilton are considering it now. Hamilton, for example, uses the model as a trigger to propose or improve controls on:

•  food related grease control devices (grease traps) in restaurants and food premises;
•  oil and grease interceptors in motor vehicle service shops and sediment interceptors in businesses such as car
washes;
• Dental Amalgam Separators in dental offices, to collect mercury;
•  Pollution Prevention Programs;
•  hauled sewage ; and
• a sewer discharge permitting system to replace the old sewer discharge agreements.

The updated sewer bylaws should help municipalities comply with the increasing stringency of federal and municipal discharge standards for their sewage treatment plants. Does anyone know of a consolidated list of which municipalities have updated their sewer bylaws to the new model?

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