Commercial Water & Sewer

Construction Site and Wastewater Management

Public Notice - New Construction Dewatering Permitting Fee In Connection To The Sewer Use By-Law 14-090

Hamilton City Council wishes to advise members of the public that it intends to consider the introduction of a new fee and charge associated with Construction Dewatering Permitting activities of $435.00 in connection to the Administrative Fees for Sewer Discharge Permits, on Friday April 22, 2022 at the VIRTUAL Public Works Committee meeting commencing at 1:30 p.m.

The agenda for this meeting, with the report about the Proposed Updates to the Sewer Use By-law No. 14-090 and the new fee associated with Construction Dewatering will be available on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. You can view a copy of this agenda and the attached report at the City Clerk’s Office, 1st Floor, 71 Main Street West, Hamilton, L8P 4Y5 or on the Meetings and Agendas page.

Due to COVID-19 all electronic meetings can be viewed online

You may submit written comments to the Legislative Coordinator, Public Works Committee, City of Hamilton, 71 Main Street West, 1st Floor, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4Y5 or by email [email protected]. Comments must be received by noon Thursday, April 21, 2022.  Any written comments received after the deadline will be included on the Wednesday, April 27, 2022 Council agenda.  Written submissions will become part of the public record.

Oral submissions may also be given by pre-registering with the Clerk’s office. To register to participate by Webex either via computer or phone, members of the public must submit a Request to Speak form by noon Thursday, April 21, 2022 which can be found at

Members of the public can also participate by submitting a pre-recorded video submitting a pre-recorded video and pre-registering by noon Wednesday, April 20, 2022. To register, members of the public must submit a Request to Speak form which can be found at

The video must be no longer than 5 minutes in length and will be reviewed before the meeting to ensure it adheres to the City’s procedures and protocols in presenting to Council. The video can be submitted by emailing [email protected], or dropping off a USB at the City Hall drop box located at the back of the 1st Floor of City Hall, 71 Main Street West, to the attention of the Legislative Coordinator, Audit, Finance & Administration Committee. Any videos that do not adhere to the City’s procedures and protocols will not be presented at the meeting.

This public notice is given in accordance with City of Hamilton By-law No. 07-351, the Public Notice Policy By-law.

Construction Dewatering Sewer Discharge Permits

The City of Hamilton Sewer Use Bylaw No. 14-090 requires City-issued permits for wastewater discharges that fall outside of the Sewer Use Bylaw standard terms and conditions. The Construction Dewatering Sewer Discharge Permit is designed for dewatering discharges from construction, land development, renovation, repair, maintenance or demolition activities. The Construction Dewatering Sewer Discharge Permit is required prior to the start of dewatering.

The purpose of the Construction Dewatering Program is to:

  • Ensure the City can successfully manage the conveyance sewer infrastructure and associated water quality treatment systems required to support construction dewatering activities from development projects.
  • Ensure capacity in the stormwater, sanitary and combined sewer systems, and receiving Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and at the Dundas WWTP.
  • Abate potential risks of backups in the City’s conveyance system causing overflow events and associated damages
  • Help protect the environment by mitigating flooding and enforcing water quality requirements as established by the Sewer Use By-law and provide developers with a clear process for submitting a permit application.
  • Recover the costs associated with administering and monitoring construction dewatering discharges
  • Recover the cost of treatment (for discharges to the sanitary or combined sewer system).

General Considerations

  • Proponents requiring discharges to the City’s storm, combined or sanitary sewer system for construction related activities, will be required to obtain a Construction Dewatering Sewer Discharge Permit (Permit) from the City’s Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement group. This Permit is required prior to the start of dewatering.  The early submission of an application is recommended to avoid delays in permit processing.
  • The Construction Dewatering application review takes approximately four weeks to approve after receiving a fully completed application package.
  • The Permit covers temporary discharges for a period of up to 3 years. If construction dewatering discharges are expected to continue beyond 3 years a new Permit application should be submitted at least four weeks before the permit expiry date.
  • If information such as the ‘contractor completing the work’ or the ‘flow monitoring device to be used’ is missing from the application, you may still submit a Permit application. Once your application is received, it will be reviewed, and the permit pre-approval may be issued. Once the pending information is received, at least 3 weeks ahead of the intended discharge date, the permit will be signed and approved. 

Reporting Requirements

The Permittee must comply with any requirements as set out within their issued Permit. Reporting requirements may include periodic testing and analysis of discharged water quality; tracking and reporting of discharged water volumes on a daily/weekly/monthly/or quarterly basis. Further maximum flow rate in liters/second may be required for submission where discharged volumes are recorded in 5 second intervals. Additional reporting requirements may include a log of Rain Events and log of Shutdowns and Start-ups as a result of Rain Events; log of batch discharges; log of average/maximum daily flow rate per month; and the number of operating days per month.

Questions to consider

  • Which sewer system will discharge be directed into (Sanitary, Combined, or Storm)?
  • Will water quality treatment will be involved prior to discharge to meet Sewer Use Bylaw limits?
  • How often will sampling occur to ensure ongoing compliance with Sewer Use Bylaw Schedule B or C limits, and/or Federal/Provincial standards?
  • How will peak flow rate be controlled, monitored, and tracked?
  • What is your contingency plan if sewer capacity is restricted (ie: where discharge is only allowed during dry weather conditions)?
  • Is an approval from the Ministry of Environment or other Public Authorities having jurisdiction required?
  • Will a contractor be completing the dewatering? If so, ensure the contactor is listed as the ‘Occupier of the Premise’ within the Sewer Discharge Permit Application.

Discharge streams to consider

Discharge to the Sanitary Sewer & Combined Sewer

  • Must comply with the City’s Sewer Use Bylaw, Schedule B.
  • There is a treatment fee associated to all discharges to the sanitary/combined sewer system based on cubic meters discharged.
  • A quarterly administrative fee will be applied for the length of the permit.

Discharge to Storm Sewer

  • Must comply with the City’s Sewer Use Bylaw, Schedule C; in addition to limits prescribed by the Ministry of Environment or other Public Authorities having jurisdiction.
  • You may require a higher-level government approval including but not limited to an Environment Activity Sector Registry (EASR) or an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA).
  • Discharges to storm sewer may allow greater flexibility for high flow discharges.
  • Unlike discharges to the Sanitary Sewer and Combined Sewer, discharges to the Storm Sewer will not be subject to treatment fees.
  • Any construction dewatering activities that indirectly discharge into the City’s sanitary and/or combined sewer system by way of initial discharge into the storm sewer system will be subject to the construction dewatering volumetric discharge fee.
  • A quarterly administrative fee will be applied for the length of the permit.

Application requirements

Along with a Construction Dewatering Sewer Discharge application you will be required to provide a valid Certificate of Insurance, flow measuring device information, contingency plans, Certificate of Analysis of a representative water quality sample, and drawings/schematics to outline the location of the premise.

Submitting an application

Step 1: Review list of things to consider and gather all required information.

Step 2: Apply for a Construction Dewatering Permit. Proponents are to submit a Permit application form as detailed in

All Permits are subject to application fees and quarterly admin fees.  

Discharge to Sanitary Sewer and Combined Sewer are subject to treatment fees. Hamilton Water | Alectra Utilities  – OS and Hauled Wastewater 

Additional Resources

Runoff water

Runoff water from construction sites is a major source of water pollution. Runoff water contains contaminants that degrade water quality in streams, wetlands and ground water.

The Federal Fisheries Act prohibits the deposit or release of sediments to waters. Violations are subject to a maximum daily fine of $500,000 and/or imprisonment.

Here are a few ways that you can prevent runoff water from construction sites:

  • Identify all storm drains and catch basins near the construction site and ensure all workers are aware of their location to prevent pollutants from entering them.
  • Protect affected catch basins by covering the inlet with filter fabric.
  • Develop a spill response and containment procedure and ensure it is posted and visible.
  • Keep private drain connections capped. Private drain connections to the sanitary sewer must not be used to drain basements or dispose of ground water. Rainwater entering the sanitary sewers can lead to basement flooding and discharges of raw sewage to local creeks and rivers.
  • Develop and implement a thorough monitoring and maintenance program such as regularly checking and vacuuming out catch basins, pavement cleaning and repairing or replacing silt fence and filter fabric.
  • Protect groundwater from surface infiltration.
  • Minimize the amount of disturbed soil and limit the time that disturbed areas are exposed.
  • Prevent runoff from other properties from entering the construction site.
  • Reduce the velocity of the runoff travelling across the site by using straw bales and check dams.
  • Sweep and shovel paved outdoor surfaces rather than spraying with water, which can wash pollutants into the drainage system.
  • Educate equipment operators to report and contain spills such as fluid from ruptured hydraulic lines or fuel leaks, and have spill kits readily available.
  • Perform all vehicle maintenance off site.
  • Conduct daily site cleaning of public sidewalks and roads.
  • During construction activity, storm drains and catch basins must be protected at all times.

When working on a construction site:

  • Never let pollutants such as fluids from vehicles, paints, concrete or concrete wash water; or sediment laden runoff water onto roads, or into ditches, storm drains or catch basins.
  • Never let wastes enter basement sump pumps. Sump pump discharges are directed to the storm sewer and do not receive treatment before entering our local waterways.

The erosion and sediment control plan is an important part of the site development plan and should outline all the necessary steps, including scheduling, to assure proper erosion and sediment control during all phases of construction. The plan should include both a narrative report and a site plan.

A good erosion and sediment control plan should:

  1. Prevent erosion by minimizing the disturbed area, stabilizing exposed soil and re-vegetating slopes.
  2. Address sediment control measures, which focus on intercepting sediment-laden runoff that has escaped the erosion control measures. Sediment control measures include:
  • Silt fences
  • Check dams
  • Sediment traps
  • Sediment basins
  1. Monitor and maintain sediment controls before, during and after rain events.