Regional Reports / Canada

Health Canada Releases Guidelines for Domestic Reclaimed Water

TORONTO - The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) announced that it worked with Health Canada on guidelines for the use of domestic reclaimed water systems for residential or commercial locations that can help reduce water consumption in Canada.

CIPH participated in the development of the CSA B128 standard, and gave feedback to Health Canada on the development of the guideline, so that consolidated standards and guidelines can be referenced by any jurisdiction considering graywater policies.

This guideline is designed to support the CSA B128 standard – Design, installation and maintenance of nonpotable water systems. CSA B128 is referenced in the 2010 National Plumbing Code. On-site reclaimed or graywater systems include the collection and treatment of bath, laundry, and wash basins wastewater from domestic dwellings for non-potable uses such as toilet and urinal flushing. However, the presence of pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, protozoa, and viruses) and some chemicals in residential wastewater may pose a health risk if this water is improperly treated or if it is used for purposes other than toilet or urinal flushing.

The guideline is necessary to ensure that the use of reclaimed water does not pose a risk to the health of Canadians. It provides benchmark levels for some health-based and aesthetic indicator parameters to ensure the safety of the application.

The guideline and the CSA B128 standard can be used together in the development of policy and guidelines by any jurisdiction as they develop water conservation strategies and graywater requirements. The ultimate goal is the uniform acceptance of these tools across Canada as provinces and municipalities develop their water reuse and water conservation policies.

The document can be found at the following link: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/alt_formats/hecs-sesc/pdf/pubs/water-eau/reclaimed_water-eaux_recyclees/reclaimed_water-eaux_recyclees-eng.pdf.

Publication date: 10/25/2010

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