Despite the federal regulations that were initiated in 2012 to check problems associated with the release of untreated waste water into rivers or canals, CBC News has gathered that more than two hundred billion liters of untreated sewage found its way into the waterways around Canada about a year ago.
The volume of untreated wastewater released into waterways was expected to drop as towns as well as cities subscribed to the standards that were adopted by the Conservative government more than four years ago. Unfortunately, the reverse is the case as there was a noticeable increase of about 1.9 percent when compared to the data of 2014. This is a shocking event and lack of proper funding, as well as laxity on the part of the government or regulation bodies, are partly to blame for this terrifying increase, according to an environmental engineer with Ecojustice.
According to the rules laid down by the government, municipalities were supposed to chemically treat the raw sewage by getting rid of solid waste as well as making the dissolved organic materials biodegradable. But because the proper rules were not followed, reports have indicated that scallops which were found in the vicinity of the sewage discharge conduit were contaminated.
As a result of this gross neglect, deadlines have been set for municipalities that did not meet the standard requirements of treating waste water. Such municipalities have until 2040 to comply or face stiff penalties. Municipalities that did nothing about treating waste sewage have been given till 2020 to comply with the directive or be charged with severe fines.
Elizabeth May, the Green Party Leader has stated that the old wastewater infrastructure was not designed for this type of climate. She opined that the sewage treatment in several municipalities in Canada circumvent the sewage plant and flow directly to the waterways.
Catherine McKenna, the Federal Environment Minister, has stated that untreated sewage is one of the leading causes of pollution in Canada. She further said that the previous government did not do much in the area of updating the sewage treatment systems in the central municipalities across Canada. This is the major reason why sewage dumping is now prevalent around the country.
One of the biggest problems faced by Canada for several years now is the issue that has to do with untreated waste water and raw sewage, especially in communities located in coastal regions of the country. The first problem has to do with the direct dumping of sewage into the waterways without any form of treatment. The second form of untreated waste that enters the canals and rivers comes from the old systems that were implemented in storm and sanitary sewers. The sewage from these old systems are usually treated to get rid of harmful materials, but sometimes, the systems release the sewage in its untreated form into the waterways when there is a sudden heavy downpour of rain or snow which, in turn, melts rapidly. If the systems don’t release the waste water in them on time, the sewage will clog up the systems and back up the untreated waste water into homes.
Mckenna has promised to work hand in hand with the provinces to clean up the waterways in Canada.
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