CMP Wastewater Monitoring Program
On December 8, 2006, the Government of Canada unveiled the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) which takes action regarding chemicals that are harmful to human health or the environment. One element of the CMP is Monitoring and Surveillance, which generates data on the presence and levels of chemical substances in environmental matrices. These data are used to make decisions regarding the best approach to protect Canadians and their environment from risks these substances might pose.
In support of the Chemicals Management Plan, a wastewater monitoring program was initiated in 2009 to generate data on priorities substances that may be released to the environment. The wastewater sector has been identified as a possible release point to the environment for certain CMP substances. The purpose of the wastewater monitoring program is to gather information from representative municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) across Canada to determine the levels of selected chemical substances (such as Bisphenol A, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, flame retardants, heavy metals, etc) entering WWTPs, the fate of these substances through typical wastewater and sludge treatment processes (primary treatment, activated sludge treatment, lagoon treatment, etc.) at warm and cold process temperatures, and the levels of these substances being discharged in WWTP effluents and solids residuals. The participation of various WWTPs in this program is done on a voluntary and anonymous basis, and sampling can only commence once a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by the Municipality and Environment and Climate Change Canada. The results from this monitoring project will be used to improve our understanding on the fate of chemical substances during wastewater treatment and to determine if control measures are needed to prevent these substances from entering the municipal wastewater system.
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