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July 10, 2000
City's New Sewer Use By-Law Goes Into Effect July 6, 2000
  
The City of Toronto's new Sewer Use By-law, which was approved by Toronto City
Council on June 8, 2000, received third reading at the July 4-6, 2000 City
Council Meeting.

The new By-law sets some of the toughest standards in Canada for sewer
discharges by lowering discharge levels for most of the 11 harmful heavy metals
(eg. cadmium, copper, mercury), and setting very stringent limits for 27 toxic
organic compounds such as PCB's, pesticides, nonylphenols and nonylphenol
ethoxylates (eg. soaps, detergents, etc.).

By strictly controlling these chemicals, our water quality will continuously
improve. In addition, companies will be required to help eliminate harmful
wastewater by providing pollution prevention plans that substitute less harmful
materials in plants and/or production processes.

"The City of Toronto is ensuring the long-term quality of our drinking water by
strictly limiting dozens of toxic chemicals in our sewer system," said Works
Committee Chair, Bill Saundercook. "The health and safety of all the city's
residents and businesses depends on compliance with these tough new
regulations."

The By-law was developed after consultation with the public, environmental
groups and business and will be phased in over a two-year period to allow
industry time to meet the tougher regulations. Current provincial guidelines
are inadequate because they were set more than 25 years ago and fail to address
the types of toxic organics being dumped in our sewers today.

The By-law allows for fines of up to $10,000 for individuals on a first offence
and $20,000 for subsequent convictions; businesses face fines up to $50,000 for
a first offence and $100,000 for subsequent convictions.

The new Sewer Use By-law supports the city's commitment to being more proactive
in preventing pollution rather than relying on end-of-pipe treatment at the
sewage treatment plant. It will also improve the quality of surface water in
the lake and rivers through the storm water quality parameters, and will
support a broader range of opportunities under the biosolids program due to
improved sludge quality.

Backgrounder

July 10, 2000

General Highlights of Toronto's New Sewer Use By-law


· Sets some of the toughest standards in Canada for sewer discharges.

· Lowers the limits for discharges of most of the 11 harmful heavy metals (e.g.
cadmium, copper, mercury) and sets very stringent limits for 27 toxic organic
compounds (e.g. PCB's, pesticides, and nonylphenol ethoxylates such as soaps,
detergents, etc.).

· Requires businesses to develop Pollution Prevention Programs (P2 Plans) that
will help eliminate harmful wastewater by addressing their raw materials in
plants and/or production processes to ensure discharges to our sewers meet the
new limits.

· Takes effect July 6, 2000 but will be phased in over two years to allow
businesses time to complete their P2 plans and comply with the stricter
requirements.

· Allows for fines of up to $10,000 for individuals on a first offence and
$20,000 for subsequent convictions; businesses face fines up to $50,000 for a
first offence and $100,000 for subsequent convictions.

· Improves biosolids (treated sewage sludge) quality and provides more
opportunities for use of improved product.

· The city's new By-law aims to improve the sludge quality beyond the
Provincial Sludge Guidelines, which were set more than 25 years ago.

· Protects our environment, our sewage collection and treatment facilities and
the health and safety of workers and all citizens.

· Storm connections are not permitted for lots greater than 15.24 metres (50
feet), but are allowed for smaller lots subject to the approval of the
Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services.


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416-338-0338

 

 

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