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Liquid Waste Discharge Limits

The Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) Sewer Use Bylaw No. 164,
regulates pollutants that are discharged into sewers and drains. Protection of the
environment and human health and safety are the first priorities of this bylaw.
Although some contaminants are reduced during the primary treatment process at
the sewage treatment plant, others pass through untouched and end up in the

“By controlling the level of pollutants discharged into sewers and drains, the
District can protect both the environment and its collection and treatment

Specific types of waste are either prohibited, outright, or restricted to an allowable
concentration. “Prohibited Wastes” are wastes that can damage the sewer system
and sewerage facilities or pose a threat to worker health and safety. The District
emphasizes the treatment of waste, to the greatest degree possible, prior to
discharge to sewer.

Prohibited Wastes are:
1. Flammable or Explosive Waste, which can cause/promote a fire or explosion in
    sewers or sewerage facilities.
2. Corrosive Waste, which can cause/promote corrosion and damage to sewers or
    sewerage facilities.
3. High Temperature Waste, above 65°C (150°F) or waste which will raise the
    influent temperature to sewerage facilities above 40°C (104°F).
4. Waste that obstructs or interferes with the flow in the sewers or sewerage facilities.
5. Pathogenic Waste, which contains infectious material that could threaten public
   and/or worker health & safety.
6. Odourous Waste, which can cause/promote odours that could threaten worker
    safety or cause air pollution.

Other wastes which are restricted or not appropriate for discharge to sanitary sewer are
  • Special Wastes as defined by the Provincial Special Waste Regulation.
  • Radioactive Waste above the limitations set by the Atomic Energy Control
      Board of Canada
  • Uncontaminated cooling water.
  • Uncontaminated storm water.

Waste that can damage the environment or interfere with the operation of the sewers
and sewerage facilities are classified as “Restricted Waste”.

Restricted Waste exceeding the following criteria may not be discharged to the sewer.

NOTE: Dilution of waste for the purpose of meeting concentration limits is not allowed.

Aluminum 50.0 mg/L                                                  Zinc 3.0 mg/L
Arsenic 1.0 mg/L                                                       Boron 50.0 mg/L
Cadmium 0.2 mg/L                                                     Chlorophenols 0.05 mg/L
Chromium 4.0 mg/L                                                    Cyanide 1.0 m/L
Cobalt 5.0 mg/L                                                          Phenols 1.0 mg/L
Copper 2.0 mg/L                                                         Oil & Grease (Total) 150 mg/L
Iron 10.0 mg/L                                                            Oil & Grease (Petroleum) 15 mg/L
Lead 1.0 mg/L                                                             Sulphate 1500 mg/L
Manganese 5.0 mg/L                                                  Sulphide 1.0 mg/L
Mercury 0.05 mg/L                                                     Suspended Solids 600 mg/L
Molybdenum 1.0 mg/L                                                BOD 5 500-1000 mg/L
Nickel 2.0 mg/L                                                            Food Waste 0.5 cm in size
Selenium 1.0 mg/L                                                       pH Range 5.5-12.0
Silver 1.0 mg/L
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