Ministère de l'Environnement
et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques

Regulation respecting municipal wastewater treatment works

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The Regulation respecting municipal wastewater treatment works will make it possible to continue municipal wastewater treatment efforts that have been underway since 1978 to provide the Québec population with healthy waterways. It paves the way for carrying out major work to modernize wastewater treatment facilities across Québec.


The Regulation is pursuant to the endorsement of the Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.

The Regulation:

  • Defines the content of the depollution attestations that municipalities will need to obtain for each of their wastewater treatment works;
  • Incorporates the general requirements of the Canada-wide Strategy;
  • Provides an opportunity to sign a bilateral agreement with the federal government to exempt Québec from enforcing the federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations that also stem from the Canada-wide Strategy. This agreement will be based on Québec’s jurisdiction over municipal affairs and will put an end to the current duplication by ensuring that only the Québec regulation is enforced in Québec.

The Regulation in brief

  • Target clientele: Québec municipalities with sewage treatment works, with the exception of municipalities whose facilities have an average annual flow of less than 10 m3/day or that are located north of the 54th parallel degree of north latitude.
  • Requirements and mechanisms provided for in the regulation: effluent discharge limits and applicable standards for raw sewage overflows, monitoring of discharges and overflows, mandatory certification of treatment plant operators and a depollution attestation renewable at least every ten years for each municipal treatment plant.
  • Upgrading deadline: municipalities that are currently unable to meet the regulation’s discharge standards will have until December 31, 2020, 2030 or 2040 to make their sanitation facilities comply with the new discharge standards, depending on the environmental risk they represent.
  • Anticipated benefits: protection of drinking water sources and aquatic ecosystems, reduction of pollutants and overflow episodes, preservation or recovery of certain recreational uses (e.g., swimming and fishing).



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