The fermentation sector is a growing industry and an economic driver in the capital region. As the industry grows, it is important that the waste generated is sustainably and responsibly managed. Wastewater from fermentation operations alters the pH in the sewer system and contains suspended solids and organics that, in high concentrations can impact our infrastructure, aquatic life and the environment.

To reduce these (and other) impacts, facilities discharging non-domestic wastewater to the sewer system must follow the CRD Sewer Use Bylaw No. 2922. The requirements under the Bylaw vary based on the annual volume of saleable product. 

If your business operates on a septic system, wastewater pre-treatment is not specifically required under CRD Onsite Sewage System Maintenance Bylaw No. 3479 . However, fermentation waste can impact the treatment process, significantly increase maintenance costs of the septic system and reduce its useful life span.

What can fermentation operators do?

Follow Sector Requirements

The CRD has introduced changes to the enforcement levels and regulatory requirements for fermentation operators under the Sewer Use Bylaw No. 2922.  Under the new requirements fermentation operations will operate under a code of practice, minor authorization, major authorization or permit based on the annual volume of saleable product. To see where your business fits, check out the Fermentation Sector Info Sheet.

New operation or growing production? If under a Code of Practice complete a Waste Discharge Assessment Form or if under authorizations & permits, complete a Waste Discharge Permit Application Form. Please email if you are unsure what waste discharge form to complete.  

Code of Practice Key Requirements

  • Use a strainer or filter with sieve no greater than 1000 microns to strain solids from wastewater
  • Separate waste mash and organic solids for proper reuse (such as composting) or disposal
  • Monitor discharge to prevent high or low pH
  • Keep records for two years
  • For full details, check out Schedule “P” of the Sewer Use Bylaw No. 2922.

Authorization Key Requirements

  • Provide a sampling point
  • Sample wastewater
  • Monitor wastewater flow
  • Complete records and reporting
  • Properly dispose of the off-spec product
  • For more details, check out the Fermentation Sector Info Sheet.

Follow Stormwater Best Management Practices

Avoid stormwater contamination and protect our waterways by preventing fermentation waste from entering the storm drain network (which includes ditches, catch basins and roadways).

Follow these best management practices:

  • Never pour any fluids, wash/rinse water, wastewater or spills into storm drains, ditches, parking lots or outdoor work areas.
  • Store waste products and outdoor containers under covered areas with appropriate spill containment. Inspect after a rainstorm to make sure no materials leaked out.
  • Educate staff about spill prevention and response and have spill plan and kit available.
  • Clean out parking lot catch basins once a year or more often if needed.
  • If you operate in North Saanich, Central Saanich or Sidney, check out the Saanich Peninsula Stormwater Bylaw No. 4168 requirements.

Follow Sustainable Business Practices

Reducing waste and making sustainable changes can benefit the environment and your business.

  • Choose environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
  • Switch out your water wasting once-through cooling (OTC) system for a new air cooled system. Depending on the type of OTC system, the typical payback period is one to three years and rebates may be available.
  • Buy local ingredients when possible.
  • Reduce and reuse waste. Offer spent grains as animal feed and participate in a glass bottle pool.
  • Choose electricity-powered heating, vehicles, EnergyStar appliances and LED lighting to reduce carbon pollution and your climate impact.
  • Protect our drinking water. Fermentation operators must ensure proper connections and backflow protection are in place and maintained.

Waste Discharge Application Forms

Prohibited & Restricted Waste

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

Trucked Liquid Waste

Liquid waste haulers can be hired to responsibly manage any fluids associated with fermentation practices.