Sewer Use By-law update

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We're updatng the Sewer Use By-law

The aim is to modernize the bylaw to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the Guelph community and aligns with industry best practices. The existing bylaw was adopted in 1996 and hasn't been amended since 2006. Since then, standards have changed and various proposed updates to the bylaw will help the City operate the sewer systems more effectively.

The bylaw helps make sure harmful pollutants (chemicals, oils, fats and grease, etc.) are managed properly to increase the life cycles of the wastewater and stormwater systems, reduce the cost of maintenance and help protect the Speed River and our environment.

This update will ensure the bylaw:

  • aligns with the latest industry standards and best management practices
  • complies with current federal and provincial regulations
  • is more user-friendly and organized in a way that is easy for both residents and City staff to utilize it

Some of the key areas of focus are:

  • requirements for:
    • food-related grease interceptors
    • vehicle and equipment service oil and grease interceptors
    • sediment interceptors
    • dental waste amalgam separator
  • sanitary and storm discharges
  • update of overstrength agreement formula
  • updated contaminant lists/schedules
  • swimming pools and hot tubs

We expect to bring the updated by-law with the accompanying report to Council in October 2021.

We want to hear from you!

Your input is a valuable part of the by-law update process. If you live or own/manage a business in Guelph, how we regulate the City’s sewer system impacts you. It also impacts the Speed River and our environment.

Here's how you can have your say:

  • Visit our virtual open house and learn about the by-law update and Guelph's sewer systems.
  • Ask us your questions and share your ideas using the Q&A option on this page.
  • Respond to our quick poll to tell us more about yourself.

Options to have your say will close on March 10.

You can also find more information about Guelph's sewer system along with actions you can take to help prevent issues in the sewer system and protect our environment on the right-hand menu of this page.

Please stay tuned to this page for further project information and updates or visit the project page.



We're updatng the Sewer Use By-law

The aim is to modernize the bylaw to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the Guelph community and aligns with industry best practices. The existing bylaw was adopted in 1996 and hasn't been amended since 2006. Since then, standards have changed and various proposed updates to the bylaw will help the City operate the sewer systems more effectively.

The bylaw helps make sure harmful pollutants (chemicals, oils, fats and grease, etc.) are managed properly to increase the life cycles of the wastewater and stormwater systems, reduce the cost of maintenance and help protect the Speed River and our environment.

This update will ensure the bylaw:

  • aligns with the latest industry standards and best management practices
  • complies with current federal and provincial regulations
  • is more user-friendly and organized in a way that is easy for both residents and City staff to utilize it

Some of the key areas of focus are:

  • requirements for:
    • food-related grease interceptors
    • vehicle and equipment service oil and grease interceptors
    • sediment interceptors
    • dental waste amalgam separator
  • sanitary and storm discharges
  • update of overstrength agreement formula
  • updated contaminant lists/schedules
  • swimming pools and hot tubs

We expect to bring the updated by-law with the accompanying report to Council in October 2021.

We want to hear from you!

Your input is a valuable part of the by-law update process. If you live or own/manage a business in Guelph, how we regulate the City’s sewer system impacts you. It also impacts the Speed River and our environment.

Here's how you can have your say:

  • Visit our virtual open house and learn about the by-law update and Guelph's sewer systems.
  • Ask us your questions and share your ideas using the Q&A option on this page.
  • Respond to our quick poll to tell us more about yourself.

Options to have your say will close on March 10.

You can also find more information about Guelph's sewer system along with actions you can take to help prevent issues in the sewer system and protect our environment on the right-hand menu of this page.

Please stay tuned to this page for further project information and updates or visit the project page.



Ask us your questions and share your ideas

We want to hear from you!  Ask us anything about the proposed Sewer use By-law changes, or share your feedback with us here.  

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    I think we should do more to reduce the amount of rain water that is going into the storm water system by encouraging depaving solutions, both for commercial and residential areas. This could come in the form of incentives (like the Royal Flush program) for depaving a driveway or parking lot. I would also like to see increased promotion of non-toxic cleaning solutions so that less chemicals are being used in our city. Additionally, how can we trap garbage that gets into the storm sewers before it enters the river system? Is there a way that we can use traps to catch garbage, that can be emptied regularly, so that water can go through but destructive waste, like plastics, that can degrade into micro-plastics, can be caught before they enter the river system?

    Amelia Meister asked about 2 months ago

    Hi Amelia,

    Thanks for your feedback and sharing your ideas with us.

    You’re right – reducing the amount of rainwater entering our stormwater system is important.  We do offer stormwater service credits to Guelph businesses that invest in green infrastructure to address stormwater runoff, which can include de-paving or permeable paving.  For residents, there are rebates for rain harvesting tanks and rain gardens as well as discounts on rain barrels.

    As for toxic chemicals, if these chemicals are poured down storm drains it’s considered a spill and needs to be reported. The City offers a few different options for residents to dispose of hazardous materials, like harsh chemicals, correctly. Residents can drop off hazardous materials at the public waste drop-off, or a participating local retailer, for free and safe disposal. Residents can drop off and pick up leftover cleaning products and paint at the public waste drop-off free of charge. Residents can also download the Guelph Waste app or use the Waste Wizard on guelph.ca/waste to find out how to get rid of something properly.

    The City uses Oil and Grit Separators, underground devices to capture oil, litter, dirt, and debris from stormwater runoff, at key locations in the storm sewer system.  Filter strips, storm ponds and grass swales are other parts of Guelph’s stormwater management system that help protect our local waterways.  Further ideas to improve the system are being explored through the City’s Stormwater Master Plan.  We encourage everyone to participate and share their concerns and suggestions.