Code of Practice

What is the Mechanical Repair Code of Practice?

The Mechanical Repair Code of Practice is a regulation for managing the proper disposal and containment of mechanical wastes such as petroleum products, heavy metals and solid wastes such as grit and sand. It is a mandatory requirement for automotive, large and small engine repair businesses in the region.

Mechanical repair includes all collision and automotive repair shops, small engine repairs, boat motor repair shops, service stations, oil change, auto detailing and engine washing stations, vehicle dealerships and recycling operations.

Why is mechanical repair waste a concern?

When mechanical waste drains into the sewer system they can cause structural damage to the region's sewer system through the buildup of sludge, metals and petroleum products. Some mechanical repair waste is highly toxic, even in low concentrations, and can cause harm to our environment.

Prohibited and restricted automotive liquids and wastes which can cause problems include:

  • Antifreeze
  • Oil and oil filters
  • Spent lead-acid batteries
  • Brake fluid and carburetor cleaner
  • Grease and other petroleum products
  • Used tires and other solid wastes

Proper management of these wastes will help ensure protection of the environment, human health and structural integrity of the sewer system.

What can mechanical repair businesses do?

Mechanical repair facilities that discharge non-domestic wastewater to the sanitary sewer system must follow the code of practice requirements to prevent the discharge of prohibited and restricted wastes into the sanitary sewer system.

  • Code of Practice for Mechanical Repair Operations (PDF)
  • 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) Oil-Water Separator Maintenance Log (PDF)
  • 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". and:

  • Safely store and contain automotive liquids and wastes (Schedule M Section 3.0)
  • Have a spill response plan posted (Schedule M Section 4.0)
  • Keep a record of automotive liquid and solid wastes that are picked-up for disposal

Install an oil-water separator

An operator of an automotive repair operation must not discharge liquid waste unless it passes through an oil-water separator. An oil-water separator must:

  • have a monitoring point installed (Schedule M Sections 2.10 (a), (b))
  • locate the oil-water separator or other treatment works where it can be easily inspected (Schedule M Section 2.11)
  • not help oil and grease through the oil interceptor with the use of hot water, solvents or other agents. (Schedule M Section 2.9)
  • have complete maintenance records kept on site for at least two years and readily available for inspection (Schedule M Sections 5.0., 5.4 and 5.5): Oil-Water Separator Maintenance Log (PDF)
  • properly maintain the oil-water separator (Schedule M Sections 2.12- 2.16)
    • must be inspected at least every three months with floating oils and solid levels measured
    • oil and grease must not accumulate to more than 5 cm (2 inches) or 5% or the wetted height of the interceptor
    • settled solids must not accumulate to more than 15 cm (6 inches) or 25% of wetted height

Create an environmentally sustainable business

Spills response plans, employee education and proper handling of automotive wastes are important factors in keeping our receiving waters clean. The Code of Practice for Mechanical Repair Operations Bylaw contains details on these and other best management practices.

By reducing and disposing of waste in the proper manner, you can help protect our region's environment.

Read the Regulations

The Code of Practice for Automotive Repair ( Schedule "M"), developed under CRD Bylaw No. 2922 - Sewer Use Bylaw, gives a detailed description of the regulations that mechanical repair shops need to follow.

Code of Practice

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.