The mechanical repair sector provides an important service to local residents and other businesses. As part of the normal operation of a mechanical repair facility, liquid and solid wastes are generated. How we store and dispose of waste can have significant impacts on our natural resources, public and private infrastructure, and human and environmental health.

Below are some resources for best management practices specific to the mechanical repair sector.

Why wastes from mechanical repair operation are a concern

Mechanical repair wastes that go down the drain into the sanitary sewer, storm drains or septic system can cause structural damage to both your private property and public infrastructure and impact the wastewater treatment process including septic systems.

Some waste can cause blockages while others are highly toxic and/or corrosive even in small concentrations. Damaged pipes can allow waste to escape harming the environment and can allow rainwater in which can cause flooding at your work site, or increase loading to your septic systems or a wastewater treatment plant.

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.

Proper storage, inventory of products and wastes, spills response plans and employee education on managing mechanical repair wastes are important factors in keeping our receiving waters clean.

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 the CRD Sewer Use Bylaw No. 2922. The mechanical repair sector, as with many other sectors, have specific requirements under a code of practice within the Sewer Use Bylaw.

Code of Practice for Automotive Repair 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 "M").

  • Install a properly sized oil-water separator (Schedule "M" Section 2.6)
  • Install a monitoring point (Schedule "M" Sections 2.10 (a), (b) - 2.11)
  • Properly maintain the oil-water separator (Schedule "M" Sections 2.12- 2.16)
  • Keep complete maintenance records of oil-water separator (Schedule M Section 5.0)
  • Properly store and contain automotive liquids and wastes (Schedule "M" Section 3.0)
  • Have a spill response plan posted (Schedule "M" Section 4.0)
  • Waste from washrooms must not flow through treatment works


Mechanical repair facilities can disconnect their non-domestic drains from the sewer system and become a "dry shop."

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 mechanical repair waste does not enter the storm drain network (which includes ditches, catch basins and roadways, etc.).

  • Educate staff about the spill prevention and response.
  • When hosing or washing equipment or surfaces outside, do not let the runoff water enter the storm drain.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain any 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, oil-water separator waste should not be discharged to a septic system as this can create a contaminated site. At minimum, the discharge of oil-water separator waste can impact the treatment process, significantly increase maintenance costs of the septic system and reduce its useful life span.

Trucked liquid waste - BMPs

Liquid waste haulers can be hired to responsibly manage any fluids associated with mechanical repair operation.

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.

Learn more on the Mechanical Repair Code of Practice webpage.

Useful Documents

Guide Book for Auto Repair

Maintenance Log

What are prohibited & restricted wastes?

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