Residential properties

How does the by-law address my place of residence?

The purpose of Sewer Use By-law 2010-188 is to protect the environment, residents and the municipal wastewater treatment system from hazardous conditions, damage, breakdown and contamination.

Kitchen Waste:

  • Installation of garbage grinders/disposal units after September 15, 2011 will no longer be permitted under the new Sewer Use By-law. Waste produced by these units contributes to more frequent sewer line blockages and sewer backups. The result could be raw sewage backing up into your home or overflowing onto streets and yards, requiring a costly and unpleasant cleanup.

  • Residential water/wastewater customers will be asked to voluntarily comply with the new provisions prohibiting installation of garbage grinders/disposal units. After September 15, 2011, the cost of clearing municipal sewer line blockages that can be directly attributed to residential use of garbage grinders/disposal units will be charged to the property owner.

  • Never pour fats, oils or grease into drains or toilets. Cooking grease poured down the drain may not appear harmful but as the liquid cools, the grease solidifies and eventually turns into a hardened mass, restricting the flow of sewage. After September 15, 2011, the cost of clearing municipal sewer line blockages that can be directly attributed to improper disposal of fats, oil or grease will be charged to the property owner. Click here for more information about personal and household items, advertised as flushable, that are actually not compatible with Greater Sudbury's wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Always scrape dishes before washing and use a green cart for environmentally friendly disposal of grease, lard, cooking oil, butter and margarine, sauces, gravies, salad dressings, soups, food scraps and baking goods. Click here for more information about the City of Greater Sudbury's green cart program.

Discharge from outdoor swimming pools

In addition to protecting the municipal wastewater treatment system, Sewer Use By-law 2010-188 protects the environment by regulating discharge into the municipal storm sewer system.

Storm sewers are designed to carry rain and snow melt away from homes and roads. Water entering the storm sewer system is not treated prior to discharge into the environment. Swimming pools contain chemicals that are harmful to fish and other organisms living in our lakes, rivers and creeks.

When draining outdoor swimming pools residents must NOT discharge wastewater:

  • either directly or indirectly into a storm sewer,

  • onto a neighbour's property or

  • over a valley or ravine slope, as pool water may cause erosion and damage to vegetation.

The best way to drain pools is at a slow trickle onto your own property so that wastewater evaporates or soaks into the ground. Residents also have the option of:

  • contracting the services of a licensed waste hauler,

  • discharging by way of a temporary connection to the sanitary sewer system upon written authorization of an official of the City of Greater Sudbury's Water/Wastewater division.

Discharge from Downspouts and Sump Pit Drainage Systems

Sewer Use By-law 2010-188 prohibits connections of downspouts and sump pit drainage systems to the municipal sanitary sewer system. While this was once an acceptable practice, the municipal wastewater treatment system serves more customers today than in the past, leaving less excess capacity to process rainwater. During a heavy rainfall, these connections increase the risk of flooded basements and overflow of untreated wastewater into waterways.

Residential property owners are responsible for ensuring that:

  • water from sump pumps and eavestroughs does not flow onto neighbouring properties,

  • water from sump pumps and eavestroughs is not discharged into the sanitary sewer system.

Lawns and gardens can easily absorb rainwater. Consider using a downspout extension to position rain gutters away from foundation walls or position a rain barrel with a mosquito resistant covering under your downspout for a free source of water for outdoor use.

Exemptions to the by-law apply to residential properties constructed prior to January 1, 1973 with a connection to the sanitary sewer system approved at time of construction or for other circumstances approved by the General Manager of Infrastructure for the City of Greater Sudbury.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Customers who do not comply with the by-law are liable for a fine of between $5,000 and $10,000 per day for a first offence. Corporations are liable for a fine of up to $50,000 per day for a first offence.

To learn more about the City of Greater Sudbury's Sewer Use By-law:

Telephone: 3-1-1
Long Distance: 705-671-2489
Email: sewerusebylaw@greatersudbury.ca