Wastewater treatment is an essential service. Municipalities must therefore ensure that:
- Wastewater collection is maintained;
- Wastewater treatment is maintained;
- Competent personnel is on hand;
- Effluent quality is monitored.
The priority is to ensure the protection of public health and the environment.
Maintaining wastewater collection
Overflows should be avoided in order to preserve the hygienic conditions of the surrounding environment of citizens living near an overflow point.
Maintaining wastewater treatment
The hygienic conditions of the receiving environment and the health of citizens living near a treatment plant, as well as the quality of downstream water intakes must be preserved.
Having competent personnel on hand
The types of expertise below are priorities, in the following order:
- Competent operators in the organization;
- Competent operators in isolation, but able to operate the facilities remotely;
- Operators from other services or departments of the organization;
- Operators from other municipalities or organizations;
- Recently retired competent individuals;
- Students in relevant fields, as long as they are supervised.
Competent workers who must remain in isolation may provide remote supervision of those on the site.
If individuals who are not competent must operate the facilities, notify the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatique.
Ensuring effluent quality monitoring
Collecting wastewater samples and taking measurements of the effluent from the treatment plant remain mandatory, as does acute toxicity testing. The enumeration of fecal coliforms at the effluent is also a priority at stations that do this monitoring.
Municipalities must meet the following expectations:
- Give priority to compliance with the treatment plant’s discharge standards and overflow standards of overflow points;
- Continue activities that are part of the monitoring of municipal wastewater treatment works operations that have an impact on the quality of discharges or on the frequency or volume of overflows;
- Contact the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques as soon as possible regarding any notice issued to the public in connection with an identified or anticipated water quality problem;
- Take into account the message sent to laboratories asking them to give priority to drinking water analyses in the event that resources are reduced.
The government will exercise leniency concerning certain obligations. For more details, refer to the Municipal wastewater treatment works monitoring system home page.
Last update: October 9, 2020