DELTA, BC, July 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent, and Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Denis
Lebel, announced that the Government of Canada has established an important safeguard for the country's water quality, by implementing Wastewater System Effluent Regulations.
"We want water that is clean, safe and plentiful for future generations
of Canadians to enjoy," said Minister Kent. "Through these Regulations,
we are addressing one of the largest sources of pollution in our
waters. We've set the country's first national standards for sewage
treatment. These standards will reduce the levels of harmful substances
deposited to surface water from wastewater systems in Canada."
"Safe and reliable wastewater infrastructure is essential to ensuring
the health and well-being of families, residents and local business,"
said Minister Lebel. "These Regulations will contribute to Canada's
economic future and help to protect the environment."
The Government of Canada worked with provinces and territories, and also
engaged municipalities, to finalize these regulations. It is expected
that about 75 percent of existing wastewater systems already meet the
minimum secondary wastewater treatment standards in the Regulations.
Communities and municipalities that meet the standards will not need to
make upgrades to their systems. The other 25 percent will have to
upgrade to at least secondary wastewater treatment.
"These standards will ensure untreated and under-treated sewage are not
dumped in our country's waterways," said Minister Kent. "The estimated
benefits to Canadians and our economy include improving fish and
aquatic systems health, and increasing safety for recreational
activities that are part of our tourism industry."
For the wastewater systems that do not meet the new standards, there
will be time for municipalities to plan and budget funds to complete
the upgrades. Wastewater systems posing a high risk must meet the new
standards by the end of 2020; those posing medium risk by the end of
2030; and those with low risk by the end of 2040. Owners and operators
of the systems will also need to consistently monitor and submit
reports on their effluent releases.
Improved water quality is expected to increase property values and
reduce water supply costs for municipalities and industry. The new
effluent standards align Canada with both the United States and the
For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement,
please visit the Web site of Environment Canada at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.
SOURCE Environment Canada
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(Également offert en français)