Sewer Use Bylaw update

We’re updating the Sewer Use Bylaw (1996)-15202, which regulates what can and can’t go down Guelph’s drains.

Why are we updating the Sewer Use Bylaw?

The Sewer Use Bylaw was adopted in 1996 and last updated in 2006. Since then Guelph has grown, technology has advanced, and government regulations have changed. An update will ensure the City’s bylaw:

  • reflects and aligns with industry standards and best practices
  • complies with government regulations, both federal and provincial
  • is easy to understand for those who often refer to it (like local businesses)
  • protects the Speed River and our environment

While all Guelph community members benefit from a well-run sewer system, the bylaw update will particularly impact Guelph businesses and institutions. The City has made enhancements to the current Bylaw including:

  • sewer discharge charges
  • overstrength agreements and permits
  • overall modernization
  • sanitary and storm discharges
  • performance and compliance improvements


We will be bringing the updated Sewer Use Bylaw to Council in April of 2024.

Community engagement

We encourage the community to follow this project. Please visit the engagement page to watch recordings of public open houses, review feedback from the completed engagement process.

About the Sewer Use Bylaw

The Sewer Use Bylaw sets out the rules for what can and can’t go into Guelph’s network of sewer infrastructure, that’s anything flushed or poured down drains, and storm sewers where snowmelt and rainwater go before flowing, untreated, into stormwater ponds and local rivers.

This includes rules for the disposal of sewage from systems that are not directly connected to Guelph’s sewer system, like septic tanks or sewage from recreational vehicles (motorhomes and trailers).

The bylaw also sets out how the City will oversee these rules and ensures businesses and residents are accountable for properly disposing of things like Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG), and harmful pollutants like cleaning products and other chemicals.


Wastewater management in Guelph

Stormwater management in Guelph

For more information

Adam Wiltschek C.Tech
Manager of Technical Services
Wastewater Services, Environmental Services Department
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2152
[email protected] 

Phil McIntyre, C.E.T., CAN-CISEC,
Supervisor of Environmental Compliance & Laboratory Services
Wastewater Services, Environmental Services Department
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2953
[email protected]