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Wastewater System Effluent Regulation (WSER) limits now in force

The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation is informing First Nations and Tribal Councils that the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER) that came into force in 2012, under the Fisheries Act now has effluent limits that are in force. The limits came in to force on January 1, 2015. The WSER aims to monitor the amount of effluent discharged into bodies of water at any given time. First Nations with wastewater systems designed to collect an average daily volume of 100 m3 or more of influent (this includes lagoon systems) are now required to engage in sampling, testing, record keeping, and reporting. In addition to the above mentioned items First Nations must also register their systems with Environment Canada. It should be noted that Health Canada will not be assisting First Nations in monitoring/sampling of wastewater effluent. Below is a brief checklist of items First Nations should have completed to be in compliance with the WSER:  

  • Submit identification report
  • Submit effluent monitoring reports
  • Submit transitional authorization application (if applicable)
  • Include funding required (if applicable) to AANDC capital application to meet monitoring requirements, and wastewater system upgrades

It is the responsibility of the owner/operator of the wastewater system to ensure that regulatory compliance is met. For further information on the effluent limits that came into force on January 1, 2015 please read the attached information on the WSER. 

Have a question on the WSER? Please contact Stephanie Allen, Environmental Scientist at (416) 651 1443 ext. 243 or Meiru Zheng, Water and Wastewater Engineer, (807) 623 9595 ext.112.

Need to contact Environment Canada on WSER? Please contact Lisa McClemens, Environmental Officer, (613) 949 8278 or by email at



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