Sewer Discharge Permit Customer Advisement Letter

2016 Water & Wastewater Storm Rates - Sewer Discharge Permits Insert

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an Overstrength Discharge Permit (formerly Overstrength Agreement)?
  2. What is the Overstrength Treatment charge on my Horizon Utilities bill?
  3. How is the Overstrength Concentration measured?
  4. How is the Quantity of Discharge Measured?
  5. How is the Overstrength Discharge fee determined?
  6. What is a Surcharge Discharge Permit (formerly Sanitary Sewer Surcharge)?
  7. What is the Surcharge Treatment charge on my Horizon Utilities bill?
  8. How is the Surcharge Treatment quantity measured?
  9. How is the Surcharge Treatment fee determined?
  10. Who do I contact regarding questions of my Overstrength or Surcharge treatment charges?

1. What is an Overstrength Discharge Permit?

An Overstrength Discharge Permit may be issued to Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (I,C &I) customers whose discharge exceeds the limit for one or more treatable parameters established by the City's Sewer Use By-law No. 14-090 ("By-law"), as amended. Treatable parameters are those which can be treated at the City's wastewater treatment plant and include; BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand), Suspended Solids, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Oil & Grease (animal/vegetable).

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2. What is the Overstrength Treatment charge on my Horizon Utilities bill?

The Overstrength Treatment Charge is a charge from the City of Hamilton that applies to customers that have been issued an Overstrength Discharge Permit. It allows the City of Hamilton a mechanism to recover the costs of conveyance, treatment, and monitoring of sewage that exceeds By-law limits for treatable parameters. The formula used to determine overstrength treatment charge is as follows:

Treatment Charge payable per parameter = concentration - Sewer Use By-law limit × quantity of discharge × overstrength discharge fee for the parameter

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3. How is the Overstrength Concentration measured?

Upon applying for a Sewer Discharge Permit, the customer can choose one of the following options to determine how the concentration is measured:

  • Average - In this method, the City calculates the average concentration for each parameter based on 2 weeks' worth of sampling and analysis data.
  • Actual - In this method, the applicant provides actual and ongoing sampling and analysis data for each parameter for the time period that the permit is in effect and at a specified frequency.

City of Hamilton staff will then conduct audit samples that are analyzed by the City's Environmental Laboratory to determine compliance with the permit, and whether the billing concentration outlined in the permit is still valid

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4. How is the Quantity of Discharge Measured?

Upon applying for a Sewer Discharge Permit, the customer can choose one of the following options to determine how the quantity is measured:

  • The customer can install a flow measuring device to measure and report the quantity of discharge to a sewer works.
  • Water consumption records

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5. How is the Overstrength Discharge fee determined?

The Overstrength Discharge fee is developed for each treatable parameter and established in the City of Hamilton's Water & Wastewater/Storm Fees and Charges By-law which is approved by City Council.

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6. What is a Surcharge Discharge Permit (formerly Sanitary Sewer Surcharge Agreement)?

Surcharge Discharge Permit (formerly Sanitary Sewer Surcharge Agreements) allows the City of Hamilton to charge sewer users directly for treatment of sewage discharged into the City's sewer system from water not originating from the City's potable water supply such as water withdrawn directly from Lake Ontario.

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7. What is the Surcharge Treatment charge on my Horizon Utilities bill?

The Surcharge Treatment Charge is a charge from the City of Hamilton that applies to customers that have been issued an Surcharge Discharge Permit. It allows the City of Hamilton a mechanism to recover the costs of conveyance, treatment, and monitoring of sewage that was not originally purchased by the customer from the City of Hamilton's potable water supply.

For example, an IC&I customer could take water from Lake Ontario or a well system, and in turn, discharge this water as sewage to the City's sewer system. Additionally, a customer could extract water during the manufacturing process and discharge it into the City's sewer system.

The formula used to determine surcharge discharge fees is as follows:

Discharge fee payable = quantity of discharge × wastewater/storm treatment charge (as set by the City annually in the Water and Wastewater/Storm Fees and Charges By-law)

For example, an industrial user consumes 1,000 cubic meters of water provided by the City and per its effluent meter discharges 1,500 cubic meters of sewage into the City sewer system. The resulting surcharge treatment charge is the sewage exceeding the amount provided by the City of 500 cubic meters at the 2014 wastewater rate of $1.32 per cubic meter = $660.00.

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8. How is the Surcharge Treatment quantity measured?

Upon applying for a Sewer Discharge Permit, the customer can choose one of the following options to determine how the quantity is measured:

  • The customer can install a flow measuring device to measure the quantity of discharge to a sewer works.
  • A Water Balance Study can be conducted at the expense of the customer, only where installation of a flow measuring device is not possible. The Water Balance Study report shall:
    • Cover a minimum period of five calendar days over a minimum of three separate occasions and shall include at least one balance showing seasonal variation, including activities such as shutdowns;
    • Record all water originating from the City's potable water supply, if applicable;
    • Measure all water originating from a source other than the City's potable water supply which will be discharged from the premises to a sewer works;
    • Be completed and certified by a qualified professional engineer, licenced in the Province of Ontario; and
    • Be submitted with this Application Form.

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9. How is the Surcharge Treatment fee determined?

The Surcharge Treatment fee is based on the wastewater user fee and is established in the City of Hamilton's Water & Wastewater/Storm Fees and Charges By-law which is approved by City Council.

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10. Who do I contact regarding questions of my Overstrength or Surcharge treatment charges?

Any inquiries regarding overstrength or surcharge treatment charges may be directed to the City of Hamilton Environment Enforcement Officer listed on the charges detail worksheet accompanying the Horizon sewer discharge permit invoices typically provided on a quarterly basis.

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