The CRD’s new pollution bylaw strengthens existing stormwater bylaws and creates a current, effective and consistent method of protecting the environment on the Saanich Peninsula.

Drainage matters: New bylaw protects Peninsula environment from contaminated wastewater

Initiative aims to protect fish, wildlife and the natural environment

What’s going down the drain from your property?

If it’s anything but rainwater, it could be harming the local ecosystem.

As the Capital Regional District introduces its new stormwater bylaw, the message is simple: Only rain should flow into our region’s stormwater drains. Contaminants like oil, grease, paint, chemicals and soil that make their way into our stormwater system flow directly into local creeks, waterways, beaches and shorelines, harming fish, wildlife and our own recreational enjoyment.

“When you’re working around your home and yard, it’s essential to make sure you keep the liquids you’re working with far from storm drains on or near your property,” explains Glenn Harris, senior manager of the CRD’s environmental protection team.

But it’s not only homeowners who play a part in protecting our environment. Businesses are also key to ensuring only rain flows into stormwater drains.

To reinforce that message, the CRD is implementing a new pollution bylaw at the request of the municipalities of Central Saanich, Sidney and North Saanich that strengthens existing stormwater bylaws. CRD Bylaw No. 4168 will create a current, effective and consistent method for protecting the environment on the Saanich Peninsula.

Running a business on the Saanich Peninsula? Here’s what you need to know:

While most businesses will already be in compliance with this bylaw, for others this may be new. All businesses simply need to clean out their catch basin, keep records and have a spill response plan. The CRD’s new stormwater source control bylaw applies to all businesses but has specific requirements for any business that:

  1. Has a parking lot: Whether or not you own the parking lot that services your business, this new stormwater bylaw will require you to adopt new maintenance, spill response and reporting requirements.
  2. Has outdoor storage: If your business stores any type of liquids or solids that can leak or spill – such as deep fryer oil, motor oil, antifreeze, batteries, fertilizers, pesticides and both garbage and kitchen scraps containers – you’ll need to implement new spill containment, response and reporting procedures.
  3. Discharges wastewater: If your business generates wastewater that drains to a catch basin on or off your property, this may no longer be allowed under the new bylaw. Examples of activities that create wastewater include shop floor and equipment washing, motor vehicle and marine repair and construction excavation dewatering.

“All business owners need to follow some general requirements and those that maintain large parking lots or outdoor storage facilities might need to adopt new maintenance, spill response and reporting procedures,” Harris says.

To learn more about this new bylaw – including tools and resources – visit www.crd.bc.ca/bylaw4168.

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