Andres De Vleeschawer - Environment Canada Regulations

Wastewater Systems Effluent
Circuit Riders AGM
September 2013
• Introduction
• Status of WSER Implementation in First Nations
What if I missed the deadline to report?
Reporting Annually vs Quarterly
Transitional Authorizations
WSER and other requirements
Reporting wastewater spills
List of Environment Canada contacts
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• Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER) in
force as of June 2012
– Require effluent to achieve secondary wastewater treatment
– Establish risk-based compliance timelines
• Apply to systems located in First Nations communities
discharging over 100 m3/day to surface water
• Environment Canada regional staff are helping First
Nations report on the WSER
• May 15, 2013 was the deadline for first report
– ID Report for all, and first Effluent Monitoring Report if subject to
quarterly reporting
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Status of WSER Implementation in
First Nations Communities
• Estimate there are 220 First Nations subject to the
WSER across Canada
Currently have Identification Reports for 126 (57%)
– AB-1, BC-21, MB-53, NL-2, NS-7, ON-14, PE-1, QC-20
• Only about ½ of these ID Reports have been approved
• Pressing need to:
– Monitor effluent, keep records and report as per the WSER
– Finalize and approve ID Reports (due May 15, 2013)
– Complete Effluent Monitoring Report if subject to quarterly
reporting (due May 15, 2013) – we think there are only a few
• If planning to apply for a Transitional Authorization by
June 14, 2014, you need to already have begun
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I’ve missed the deadline to report…
now what?
• Owners/operators of wastewater systems subject to the WSER
need to submit and approve their ID Reports ASAP
– Must be done electronically
– Paper copies are available if electronic submission is not
technically feasible (e.g. no internet access)
• If the owner/operator is required to report quarterly, and they haven’t
already done so, then they need to write a letter to the Authorization
Officer (i.e. James Arnott) to explain how they will address the
situation and ensure that the next monitoring report is submitted on
• If an owner/operator of a wastewater system is subject to annual
reporting, they have until February 14, 2014 to submit this report
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Reporting Annually vs Quarterly
• Most intermittently discharging systems or continuous
systems with HRT ≥ 5 days are annual reporters – this
will be the case for most systems located in FN
The following are quarterly reporters:
– Continuous discharging systems (e.g. mechanical)
– Continuous discharging systems with an HRT ≥ 5 days (i.e.
lagoons) and an average daily effluent volume >2500 m3
– Intermittently discharging systems >17500 m3 We anticipate
only a few systems located in FN communities would be
quarterly reporters
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Transitional Authorizations (TAs)
• If a wastewater system is not designed to achieve secondary level
treatment, the owner/operator needs to apply to the Authorization
Officer for a TA
– CBOD and/or TSS > 25mg/L need a TA
TA allows the system to operate and sets the timeline to achieve
secondary treatment
Without a TA, depositing effluent that exceeds 25/25 is not
authorized and would be a contravention of subsection 36(3) of the
Fisheries Act
TA sets site-specific limits, allowing the system to operate
We expect that several systems located in First Nations
communities need to apply for a TA
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I need a TA… now what?
• If the owner/operator of a wastewater system needs to
upgrade their system to secondary and they haven’t
started monitoring, then they need to start ASAP
Currently out of compliance with the Regulations since
not already collecting data
Jeopardizing an opportunity to allow for time under the
WSER to bring the wastewater system into compliance
An electronic reporting module for TAs will be available
by the end of 2013 in Environment Canada’s Electronic
Regulatory Reporting Information System (ERRIS)
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Transitional Authorization
• May be applied for, beginning January 1, 2013, if the
average CBOD and/or SS exceeded 25 mg/L in the effluent
deposited from the final discharge point during the specified
period(s) (Section 24)
• Required information (Section 25) includes:
– Effluent quality and quantity and description of the water where effluent
is deposited
– Number of points allocated to the final discharge point (Schedule 2)
and, if used, to a combined sewer overflow point (Schedule 3)
– Plan for the modifications to be made to the system to achieve
secondary treatment, or equivalent
– Plan for the modifications to be made to reduce combined sewer
overflows (if Schedule 3 is used)
• Submitted electronically to the authorization officer by
June 30, 2014
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Transitional Authorization (continued)
• Schedule 2
– Points allocated to the final discharge point are based on:
▪ Annual average daily volume
▪ CBOD, SS, TRC and NH3
▪ Description of water where effluent is deposited via final
discharge point
• Schedule 3 (Optional)
– Points allocated to a CSO point based on:
▪ Estimated ADWF* at CSO point / Estimated ADWF at final
discharge point
▪ # of overflows in a year
▪ Description of water where effluent is deposited via overflow
– *ADWF: average dry weather
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Transitional Authorization (continued)
• Transitional authorization period (Subsection 26(2)) will begin on
January 1, 2015 and will end on:
– December 31, 2020, if points ≥ 70 based on Schedule 2
– December 31, 2030, if points ≥ 50 to < 70 based on Schedule 2
– December 31, 2040
If points < 50 based on Schedule 2; or
If points ≥ 50 based on Schedule 2 and total points based on Schedule 3 ≥
total points on Schedule 2
• Transitional authorization may expire early (Section 33) if the effluent
was not acutely lethal and met the CBOD and SS averages of 25 mg/L
during specified periods
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Transitional Authorization (continued)
• The transitional authorization indicates the site-specific authorized
concentrations of the prescribed deleterious substances for the
duration of transitional authorization (Section 30)
• The holder of a transitional authorization must:
– Meet the site-specific authorized concentrations (Section 28)
– Satisfy compliance obligations (Section 29)
▪ Similar to those for systems meeting the standards (e.g. monitor effluent
quantity and quality)
▪ Upgrade the system according to the plan for modification and the
implementation schedule submitted
▪ Submit progress reports on the steps taken to implement the plan
– Submit a revised plan if changes are made to it (Section 27)
• Upon expiry, effluent quality standards for CBOD and SS must be met
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WSER and other requirements
• WSER specify the following deleterious substances and the concentrations
that can be discharged not exceed the corresponding conditions:
– Average CBOD (25mg/L), average Suspended Solids (25mg/L), total residual
chlorine average (0.02mg/L), un-ionized ammonia (maximum 1.25mg/L)
• In addition, local conditions may require effluent treatment to go beyond
WSER (e.g. which address coliform or other contaminants)
– Coliforms and some other contaminants not regulated under the WSER, as they
were considered to be a site-specific issue
– On-Reserve Source Water Protection Plans may address these
• For example, if body of water receiving wastewater effluent is sensitive or
used for swimming, fishing or drinking, then these local conditions may
require effluent treatment to go beyond the WSER
• Up to the owner/operators of these systems to know which to follow
• The WSER supersedes the 1976 Guidelines for Effluent Quality and
Wastewater Treatment at Federal Establishments
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Wastewater Spills
• The Fisheries Act requires owners/operators of
wastewater systems to report spills
Contact numbers in each province are found on the
following page
Note that 1-800 numbers are usually only accessible if
calling from within the respective province
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Reporting Wastewater Spills
Spills Action Centre, Ontario Ministry of the
416-325-3000 or
Environmental Protection Operations
Directorate, Quebec, Environment Canada
514-283-2333 or
Nova Scotia,
New Brunswick
and PEI
Maritimes Regional Office, Canadian Cost
Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
902-426-6030 or
Manitoba Department of Conservation
British Columbia Provincial Emergency
Program, Ministry of Public Safety and
Solicitor General
Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment
Alberta Ministry of Environment
780-422-4505 or
and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Regional
Office, Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries
and Oceans Canada
709-772-2083 or
Yukon Department of Environment
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List of Environment Canada
Environment Canada Regional Contacts for questions on the WSER
Myra Page
BC and Yukon
Gillian Brown
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and
Lisa McClemens
Caroline Mayrand
Julia Brydon
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,
Newfoundland and Labrador and
SWIM/ERRIS Questions
General Wastewater Program email and phone number
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