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Wastewater is water that has been used or affected by people. It’s generated in homes, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and industries. Water from sinks, tubs, toilets, washing machines, floor drains, and industrial process pipes is considered wastewater. Stormwater is another form of wastewater. It includes run-off from streets and sidewalks after heavy rain or from melting snow. 


50 MILLION LITRES. That is how much wastewater is produced every day in the CBRM.


Wastewater is treated both through human engineered and natural filtering processes before it is recycled back into the environment. 


In the CBRM, we have three wastewater treatment plants (Sydney, Dominion, and Bras d’Or) and treatment five lagoons (Sydney, Centreville, Sydney Mines, Glace Bay and Birch Grove) which help to refine wastewater once it leaves our homes and streets. 


Naturally, wastewater moves through the water cycle and is purified as it moves through earth, plants, animals, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. However, both municipal treatment facilities and natural processes are limited as to how much they can purify our wastewater.























For information about the I Comply Program and By-law #W-100, click here.

Eliminating toxins and untreatable materials start at home. Here are some tips for how we can prevent contaminants from entering our treatment facilities and ultimately our environment:



  • Fats, oils, and grease (F.O.G.) cannot go down the drain. They can be wiped up with a paper towel or scraped off dishes and go directly into the compost.


  • Pharmaceuticals cannot be treated by either treatment facilities or natural processes and in fact can cause serious problems if they enter ecological food webs. Unfinished medication and medicine bottles, puffer cartridges, and sharps must be returned to the pharmacy.


  • Petroleum products, gasoline, kerosene, and used motor oil can pose hazards to treatment infrastructure and to Wastewater Operations workers. These products can go back to a gas/oil retailer or be deposited at an environmental Services company.


  • Solvents, BBQ starter, lighter fluid, turpentine, degreaser, oven cleaners, photo chemicals, rust removers, pesticides, lice shampoo, moth balls, poison, antifreeze, and pool supplies can to the Residential Household Special Waste Depot in Sydport at 345 Gulf Crescent (902-564-8104)


  • Cigarette butts, dental floss, and feminine hygiene products go in the regular garbage.

The Solution to Water Pollution Video Series

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