Municipal Liquid Waste
Liquid Waste Management Planning
The Environmental Management Act allows municipalities and regional districts to develop a liquid waste management plan (LWMP) for approval by the minister for the management of municipal liquid waste. This link describes B.C.'s liquid waste management planning process and provides guidance to local governments in preparing a plan. The guidelines are currently being revised and updated guidelines will be available in due course.
Municipal Sewage Discharges
The Municipal Sewage Regulation (MSR), which became effective on July 15, 1999, provides authorization with standards and requirements for the discharge or reuse of treated sewage effluent. Part of the process of complying with the regulation and registering a discharge includes completing and submitting a registration form, complete with supporting information such as an environmental impact study and operating plan.
For residential developments where the discharger is not a government agency or municipality, the discharger must also comply with the applicable capital replacement fund and security requirements of the MSR.
For all new sewage effluent discharges or use of reclaimed water, the discharger is required to be registered under the MSR.
Most existing sewage effluent discharges, currently authorized by permits, are still in effect. Information on the registered sites within this region, including registration forms, environmental impact studies and operating plans are listed here.
Small Sewage Discharges
The Conditional Exemption Regulation exempts some discharges from requiring permits under the Environmental Management Act and regulations. The following are exempted:
- all sewage effluent discharges from a single or double unit dwelling;
- all sewage effluent discharges which have an estimated total sewage flow of less than 22.7 cubic metres per day and are not discharging into a surface watercourse or surface water body.
Discharges from these operations are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health Services. The following sites provide links to Ministry of Health Service's website on ground disposal sewage systems.
Discharge of Sewage Biosolids
Municipal liquid waste includes sewage biosolids although the MSR does not apply to these wastes. Authorization for the discharge of biosolids is granted through permits and approvals. However, the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR), draft is currently being developed that will replace the permit/approval system for the discharge of sewage biosolids. The regulation sets standards for the beneficial reuse of biosolids and composted organic matter including yard and food wastes.
This link provides information concerning existing and proposed designated no-discharge zones for sewage discharge from pleasure craft in British Columbia.
A document called Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia has been developed to assist British Columbia municipalities with completion of watershed-based stormwater management plans. The following sites provide links to information about urban stormwater runoff.
The Municipal Sewage Regulation (MSR) provides standards and requirements for the use of reclaimed water. A Code of Practice for the Use of Reclaimed Water provides assistance in implementing and complying with the MSR. The Fact Sheet describes B.C.'s initiatives related to use of reclaimed water.