Wastewater

Service Area

Wastewater

What is this Service?

The goal of Wastewater Services is the safe and effective collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater. Treatment standards established by provincial and federal agencies ensure that the impact of wastewater treatment on the natural environment is minimized.

Specific objectives include:

  • Efficient and effective collection of wastewater from customers via the municipal sewage systems, operation of wastewater treatment facilities and disposal of wastewater in accordance with federal and provincial regulation
  • Maintaining adequate capacity for existing communities and future developments

Wastewater services are provided to residential and Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sector customers. The quality of wastewater discharged into the municipal sewage system is controlled through municipal sewer-use by-laws. Funding for wastewater services is generally through municipal water rates, which usually include a sewer surcharge based on water usage to recover the costs of wastewater collection and treatment.

Influencing Factors:

  • Age of Infrastructure:  The age and condition of wastewater collection system and frequency of maintenance costs.
  • Government Structure:  Single-tier service providers with jurisdiction over the wastewater system vs. two-tier system where the responsibility for wastewater service is divided between the local municipalities and the Regional municipality.
  • Policy and Practices:  The frequency of wastewater collection system maintenance activities, collection system age, condition and the type of pipe material.
  • Supply and Demand:  Respective volume of wastewater generated relative to the total system demand.  The quantity of wastewater flows from ICI sectors relative to residential demand.
  • Treatment Plants:  The number, size and complexity of the wastewater collection systems and treatment plants operated.
  • Urban Density:  The proximity of pipes to other utilities increases the cost for infrastructure repair and replacement.
  • Weather Conditions:  Negative impacts are associated with more severe and frequent extreme weather events.

Additional Information:

Integrated Systems:  The term applies to those Cities and Municipalities that have full responsibility for all wastewater activities including collection, conveyance, treatment and disposal.

Two-Tier Systems:  The term applies to those Municipalities that have responsibility for components of wastewater activities, e.g. Niagara, Waterloo and York are responsible for all components with the exception of collection which is the responsibility of local municipalities (lower-tiers) within their boundaries.

Note:  Niagara did not provide 2012 data for all measures within this service area.