The industrial monitoring program provides the City of Airdrie a way to monitor, track and document effects of industry on city infrastructure and the environment through sanitary sewer discharge, also known as effluent.
Everything you put down the sink, including chemicals and other harmful products, enters the sewer system and becomes part of the effluent. According to the SEWER BYLAW NO. B-11/2015 (PDF), effluent must not exceed specific concentrations of restricted substances and cannot contain any prohibited substances. These substances can clog sewer lines, harm the environment and cause damage to public and private infrastructure and property. Any establishment releasing effluent that is over concentration or contains prohibited substances may be subject to fines and/or surcharges.
|Testing Parameter||sewer bylaw limit|
|pH||Between 5.5 and 10|
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) - is a measurement of the amount of oxygen needed to oxidize the organic matter present in a sample.
Total Suspended Solids (TSS) - is a measurement of the dry weight of particles in a sample that are not dissolved.
Industrial monitoring staff collect samples from the sanitary/storm systems and analyze them based on parameters set out by City bylaws. These samples may include effluent (wastewater), surface water, storm runoff, soil and air. The data collected helps City of Airdrie staff work with local businesses and institutions to understand what courses of action can be taken to improve wastewater treatment, minimize the impact to infrastructure and improve environmental protection practices.
The City of Airdrie maintains and operates a network of public sanitary collection mains and pumping facilities that transports effluent (sewer) for treatment in Calgary. Well maintained sanitary infrastructure helps to maximize the useful life of the sanitary system, reduces the risk of blockages, protects the environment, and reduces the potential for excessive maintenance.
To protect the integrity of the sanitary system, the City of Airdrie’s Industrial Monitoring Laboratory tests effluent for bylaw compliance.
Please take steps to install or maintain your pre-treatment systems. Instructions for care and maintenance are available for reference.
Training your staff in proper disposal procedures and using environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies are recommended.
The Industrial Monitoring team collects samples from the sanitary/storm systems from a test point at your business location. The samples are then analyzed based on parameters set out by City bylaws.
To calculate the surcharge, the test sample results are subtracted from the concentration limit allowed . This will give you your over limit amount. The over limit amount is then mulitplied by the bylaw rate. If your test results are under the concentration limit allowed, you will not receive a surcharge on your utility bill.
The bylaw rate totals are added together and gives you the amount that we will charge the customer. This Effluent Limit Overage total is then multiplied by the amount of used consumption in that billing cycle.
In the example above, the effluent limit overage is 10.050. The used consumption for the billing cycle is 83 m3 and the surcharge amount to the customer is $834.15.
You could be approved for a reduction of the surcharge by providing your satisfactory maintenance records to the Industrial Monitoring department.
A grease trap or grease interceptor, is a plumbing device placed on kitchen cleaning fixtures. It should be connected to any fixtures (dishwashing sinks, dishwashers) or drains (floor drain, drains serving self-cleaning exhaust hood and cooking equipment) that discharges wastewater. It collects the fats, oils and grease (FOG) that are washed off cooking appliances and kitchenware. It also acts as a particle separator and allows solids to settle to the bottom.
Grease Trap: <50 gpm (gallons per minute) of flow
Grease Interceptor: >50 gpm (gallons per minute) of flow
An engineer or registered plumber should be able to calculate your gpm/flow rate. Your flow rate can also sometimes be found on your business development permit or plumbing drawings.
If FOG bypasses your grease trap/interceptor, you may encounter complications and problems. These may include reduced plumbing flow, odours, and sewer backup. The results may cost your business time, money, and customers. These problems can be easily avoided by following a cleaning and maintenance schedule for your grease inceptor that is appropriate for your business.
This is a simple method to determine whether your grease trap/interceptor is in need of cleaning. It will help ensure compliance with the City of Airdrie Sewer Bylaw, thus saving your business money, time and customers.
Cleaning of the grease trap/interceptor can be done by you or a licensed hauler by following these steps:
The frequency of your grease trap/interceptor maintenance and inspection will vary based on cooking methods, and type of food served in your establishment, as well as its capacity. You can reduce the need for cleaning by removing the top layer of grease from the interceptor often. This may mean removing the top layer several times a week, if necessary. Even with this preventative maintenance, it is still important to monitor the interceptor to ensure it is not reaching capacity.
You can also reduce the amount of maintenance needed by training your employees in good management practices in the kitchen to prevent FOG from going down the drain:
Food service facilities are a huge contributor to oil and grease in the sanitary sewer system. Oil and grease can accumulate in drainage systems and cause blockages. A grease trap or interceptor is a necessary and important part of your kitchen. It prevents fats, oils and grease (FOG) from entering the wastewater system. FOG can have a negative impact on the environment, and City of Airdrie wastewater systems if not properly disposed of. If you have a grease interceptor installed in your kitchen, you have already taken the first step in preventing problems associated with FOG. However, in order for the grease interceptor to work properly, it must be adequately maintained, and kept in clean, good working order.
The City of Airdrie Sewer Bylaw requires the owner or occupier of an industrial or commercial establishment to keep the grease interceptor in good working condition at all times. It also requires the establishment to keep service records for up to two years, so they may be presented during time of inspection. Failing to install or maintain the interceptor may result in fines and/or surcharges.
Please take the following preventative measures to comply with the Sewer Bylaw:
A grit trap/interceptor or sump is an essential component for commercial car wash facilities. These components separate grit, sand and oil from effluent before it enters the City of Airdrie infrastructure. Grit, sand and oil can have a negative effect on the infrastructure, causing blockages and backups as well as damage to the surrounding environment.
Please take the following preventative measures to comply with the Sewer Bylaw:
Interceptors and sumps must be regularly maintained in order to function properly. The City of Airdrie suggests a record be kept of such maintenance, to ensure good business practices are being followed. Failing to maintain a grit interceptor or sump may result in fines and/or surcharges.
There has been significant growth in the brewery and fermentation industry (home brewer, micro-breweries, cideries, distilleries and kombucha producers) across Alberta and in the City of Airdrie over the last few years. These operations create a wastewater that can exceed bylaw parameters that have nutrients that cannot be filtered out and must be treated properly, resulting in higher treatment costs.
Physical treatment of wastewater is a key step to reducing wastewater streams. Traditional physical treatment methods such as screening, settling, sedimentation, flotation and filtration can be applied to remove solids, consequently reducing COD and TSS. Screening and settling are the two most used methods. All these applications require some regular level of attention and maintenance.
SUMP/GRIT TRAP MAINTENANCE FORM (PDF)
Manual scrubbing and using less environmentally harsh chemicals may be options to minimize fluctuating pH, especially since the fermentation process is very acidic. Daily testing of the operation’s effluent pH should be completed and recorded. If effluent from cleaning is outside of the acceptable bylaw limits, a neutralization or equalization tank may need to be added. If temperature exceedances are also common, this tank will have the added benefit of allowing process water to cool to an acceptable level prior to discharge to the wastewater system.
Clean-in-place (CIP) systems can also be used and are typically more efficient than manual cleaning. They use high temperatures and reduce water and chemical use by up to 50 per cent. Planning for a CIP system is best, as retrofitting a system may be cost prohibitive.
Water conservation methods:
Final product that does not meet your standards for consumption should never be released directly into the sanitary system because it likely contains a very high COD and unacceptable pH values. This would make it a restricted substance and may be subject to surcharges and fines. This would also apply to any spillage that may occur during the bottling process.
During a spill it is important to act quickly to prevent wastewater from entering any nearby sanitary or storm drain as the effluent would have adverse effects on the environment. In the event of a spill into the storm or sanitary system, contact the City of Airdrie by calling 403.948.8871 and providing the following information:
Repair and maintenance facilities have the potential to release harmful substances including paints, oils, solvents, hydrocarbons, oil and grease. These substances may cause significant changes in wastewater temperature, pH and odour. Please take the following preventative measures to comply with the Sewer Bylaw:
Salons, spas and pet grooming facilities can release prohibited and restricted substances containing bleach, ammonia and phthalates into the sanitary sewer system. These products can alter pH, odour and temperature of effluent. They are difficult to treat and can harm public and private infrastructure as well as the environment. Please take the following preventative measures to comply with the Sewer Bylaw:
Amalgam used in dental procedures can cause damage to the environment and wastewater infrastructure if it is released into the sanitary sewer system. Amalgam contains mercury and when accumulated, can cause adverse effects. Please take the following preventative measures to comply with the Sewer Bylaw:
Discharge of amalgam is outlined in the City of Airdrie Sewer Bylaw.