The recreational facility sector provides an important service to local residents and businesses. As part of the normal operation of a recreational facility, liquid and solid wastes are generated. Generating waste products is not necessarily an environmental issue. However, how we manage the 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 recreational facility sector.

Common Regulations and BMP for stormwater, wastewater and septic systems use

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 recreation facility wastes are important factors in keeping our receiving waters clean.

Requirements and BMP specific to sanitary sewer

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 CRD Bylaw 2922 - Sewer Use Bylaw. The recreational facility sector, as with many other sectors, have specific requirements under a code of practice with in the Sewer Use Bylaw.

Code of Practice for Recreational Facility 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 "R").

The Code of Practice requires that recreational facility operators:

  • Refrain from discharging prohibited waste into the sewer system
  • Refrain from discharging ice paint, coolant, plastic markings or line stencils, pool filter media
  • Refrain from discharging chlorine or chloride above allowable amounts
  • Install monitoring points downstream of the point of discharge
  • Keep written records to ensure proper maintenance of equipment

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.

Requirements and BMP specific to septic system

Wastewater pre-treatment is not specifically required under CRD Bylaw 3479 - Onsite Sewage System Maintenance Bylaw. However, non-domestic waste, such as recreational facility waste should not be discharge to a septic system. The discharge of high levels of chlorine and other non-domestic waste will significantly increase maintenance costs of the septic system and reduce its useful life span.

Requirements and BMP specific to stormdrains and catch basins

Prevent stormwater contamination and protect our aquatic environment by ensuring that recreational facility wastes do 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 4168 requirements.

Requirements and BMP specific to trucked liquid wastes

Liquid waste haulers can be hired to responsibly manage any fluids associated with operating a recreational facility.

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.

Why wastes from recreational facility operation are a concern in our stormwater, wastewater and septic systems

Waste containing suspended solids, such as ice paint from ice and curling rinks and spent pool filter media, may cause blockages in sewer lines and contribute to abrasion of sewer and septic pumps. These solids are inert and are not treatable at sewage treatment plants or septic systems.

High residual chlorine and chloride concentrations in pool water discharges may contribute to the generation of odours in the sewer system and corrosion of sewer pipes. High chlorine concentrations may also pose a health risk to sewer workers and interfere with biological treatment processes.

Chemicals used in pools are eventually discharged to the sewer system. A major concern is the potential for spillage or overdosing of these chemicals. Some pool cleaning chemicals can cause foaming which can produce operational problems at sewage treatment plants and can also be toxic to aquatic organisms. If discharged into the stormwater system, fish kills can result.

Other chemicals can be a health hazard; they can also create hazards such as fire, explosion, air & water pollution, corrosion of pipes or damage to sewage treatment facilities or septic systems. Damaged pipes can allow rain and ground water in to sewer lines or waste to escape into the environment.

What is considered a recreational facility operations

Recreational facility operations means any local government, educational institution or commercial facility containing one or more of the following: ice arena, curling rink, water-park or pool.