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Government moves to control use of chlorine and ammonia in wastewater treatment plants

Two important documents affecting the design of wastewater treatment systems were published on the Canada Gazette o...


Two important documents affecting the design of wastewater treatment systems were published on the Canada Gazette on Saturday, December 4.
Canada’s Minister of the Environment released a Guideline for the Release of Ammonia Dissolved in Water Found in Wastewater Effluents. They also published a Notice Requiring the Preparation and Implementation of Pollution Prevention Plans for Inorganic Chloramines and Chlorinated Wastewater Effluents.
The new conditions will apply to owners of wastewater treatment plants that release more than 5,000 cubic metres of effluent per day. A population of 10-15,000 people needs a sewage treatment plant with that kind of capacity.
In 2001, ammonia and chlorine, which are widely used in treating wastewater in municipal sewage plants, were determined to be toxic and harmful to a variety of fish and other aquatic life. Under the Canadian Environment Protection Act the use of the chemicals has to be controlled.
The measures for chlorine aim to ensure that by 2009 effluent released to surface waters will maintain a concentration of total residual chlorine “that is not acutely toxic.” The objective of the guideline for ammonia is to achieve a level and maintain a concentration of ammonia in the effluent that is “not acutely lethal to fish and does not induce chronic toxicity in the receiving waters.”
Claude Fortin of the Ministry of the Environment says the government will presently launch programs to inform treatment plant owners and operators about the new provisions.
The documents are published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1 on Saturday, December 4, 2004 and can be found at http://www.ec.gc.ca/CEPARegistry.
For more information, contact Claude Fortin, at the Ministry (819) 997-5416.


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