Sewer Use Bylaw Update

Create flexibility and balance stakeholder needs.

Environmental Consulting, Municipal Liaison

The Task:

Update the City of Oshawa’s sewer use bylaw.  The bylaw had not been updated since its passing 14 years ago.

The Client:

The City of Oshawa. (

The Challenge:

The assignment required careful balancing of criteria:

  • How the City had used the bylaw in the past, and any technical issues with enforcement
  • The receiving environment and context
  • Practical enforcement and compliance of both the City and the regulated community
  • The unavoidable “native” quality of urban stormwater
  • The underlying environmental rationale for the water quality criteria
  • Sewer use bylaws in the Region of Durham and other Ontario municipalities, weighted by distance

Especially critical to this assignment was rationalizing the few differences between our recommendations and typical sewer use bylaws in the area.

The Solution:

PGL drafted technical components relating to points of compliance, sampling methods, and the use of best management practices.  We liaised with the Region of Durham to address the differences in criteria between our recommendations and the existing Region of Durham bylaw.

The Result:

PGL’s recommendations were materially different from other municipalities. Differences were driven by underlying toxicity information, but also reflected more realistic endpoints than the old bylaw for endemic stormwater contaminants like zinc and copper.

The new bylaw was passed in April 2013.