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The carpet cleaning sector provides an important service to local residents and businesses.

As part of the normal operation of a carpet cleaning practice, liquid and solid wastes are generated. How we manage that waste can have significant impact on our natural resources, public and private infrastructure, and human and environmental health associated with stormwater, wastewater and septic systems. The following resources are specific to the carpet cleaning sector.

Why wastes from carpet cleaning operations are a concern

Liquid waste from carpet cleaning operations can contain high concentrations of grit, heavy metals and chemicals.

Much of the waste is non-biodegradable and can accumulate in sewer pipes and collection systems, causing abrasion of pumps and obstruction of screens in septic systems and wastewater treatment plants. Once this material reaches the receiving environment, it tends to persist in the environment without biodegrading. These wastes can be harmful to our ecosystems and pose a risk to aquatic and marine species.

Common regulations and best management practices (BMPs)

Waste generators are required to comply with all federal, provincial, municipal and regional regulations for proper waste disposal.

Under the Provincial Environmental Management Act and the Federal Fisheries Act, a waste generator may be held liable for any contamination or harm created as a result of the deposition or discharge of that waste. Proper disposal and management of wastes significantly reduces risks of environmental contamination and the requirement for remediation.

Key factors in keeping our receiving waters clean include:

  • avoidance of chlorinated cleaning agents whenever possible;
  • proper indoor and outdoor storage;
  • inventory of products and wastes;
  • spill response plans; and,
  • employee education on managing carpet cleaning wastes.

To help you meet other municipal, provincial or federal conditions, other agencies that may have additional requirements use BizPaL to help you identify additional permits and licenses required to operate your business.

Sanitary sewer - regulations and BMPS

All industrial, commercial or institutional facilities that discharge non-domestic wastewater to the sanitary sewer system operated by the CRD must follow the requirements of Regional Source Control Bylaw - CRD Bylaw No. 2922. The carpet cleaning sector, as with many other sectors, has specific requirements under a code of practice within the Sewer Use Bylaw.

Code of Practice for Carpet Cleaning Operations prescribes the requirements and conditions for preventing or limiting the discharge of prohibited and restricted wastes into the sanitary sewer system.

The following is a summary of the key requirements under the Bylaw and Code of Practice (Schedule "O"):

Please submit a Waste Discharge Assessment Form if you are unsure whether this code of practice applies to your business.

Although compliance with Sewer Use Bylaw may help you meet other municipal, provincial or federal conditions, other agencies may have additional requirements. Use BizPaL to help you identify additional permits and licenses required to operate your business.

Storm drains and catch basins - regulations and BMPs

Prevent stormwater contamination and protect our aquatic environment by ensuring that carpet cleaning waste does not enter the storm drain network (which includes ditches, catch basins and roadways, etc.).

  • Educate staff about spill prevention and response
  • When hosing or washing equipment or surfaces outside, do not let runoff water enter the storm drain.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain parking lot catch basins
  • Store waste products under covered areas with appropriate spill containment

If you operate on the Saanich Peninsula (North Saanich, Central Saanich and Sidney) then you need to know about Bylaw No. 4168 requirements.

Septic system - regulations and BMPs

Wastewater pre-treatment is not specifically required under CRD Bylaw 3479 - Onsite Sewage System Maintenance Bylaw. However, carpet cleaning waste should not discharge to a septic system as this can significantly increase maintenance costs of the septic system and reduce its useful life span.

Trucked liquid waste - regulations and BMPs

Liquid waste haulers can be hired to responsibly manage any fluids associated with carpet cleaning practices. Visit the trucked liquid waste directory to find a hauler.

It is important to note that the waste generator retains ownership of the waste even after it has been turned over to a waste hauler. This means the generator can be held responsible for the consequences of a spill or improper disposal of waste.

For that reason it is important to ensure that the hauler you hire can demonstrate that they are:

  • Properly licensed;
  • Have properly trained staff and;
  • Will deal with your waste in a safe, responsible, legal and diligent manner.

Read the Regulations

The Code of Practice for Carpet Cleaning (Schedule "O"), developed under CRD Bylaw No. 2922 - Sewer Use Bylaw, gives a detailed description of the regulations that carpet cleaning businesses need to follow.

Bylaw Schedule

Learn more about carpet cleaning operations Code of Practice.

What are prohibited & restricted wastes?

Read the list of prohibited and restricted wastes, including details on maximum allowable concentrations.