Image of the Wastewater Plant at the Municipality of Port Hope

The Wastewater Treatment Plant is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with staff on call 24/7, 365 days a year. The facility can collect and treat an impressive 11,300 cubic meters of wastewater per day.

Our Municipal wastewater staff are responsible for the following activities:

  • Operation and maintenance of the Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Operation and maintenance of four sewage pumping stations
  • Maintenance of the municipal wastewater collections system
  • Environmental monitoring and enforcement the Sewer By-Law 
  • Environment Protection Laboratory

Report a problem

While our staff work to ensure the operations of the Waterwater Treatment Plant, property owners are responsible for all repairs to their water and wastewater lines on their properties. 

 Treating wastewater: how does it work?


Water enters the Wastewater Treatment Plant from the wastewater collection system and septic haulers. The wastewater goes through mechanical screening and grit removal systems which protect downstream equipment. Collected screenings and grit are automatically washed and compacted to reduce odours and volume.

The headworks is equipped with an automated septage and hauled sewage receiving station. The station incorporates a flowmeter and billing system for cost recovery. All waste is directed to an equalization tank to minimize loading fluctuations in the treatment facility.

Following preliminary treatment, flow is directed to aeration tanks (3 parallel tanks available) which remove organics and ammonia through biological treatment. The aeration tanks are equipped with energy efficient fine bubble diffusers and incorporate a small unaerated zone to enhance settling characteristics and reduce overall energy costs in the treatment process.

Biological solids in the aeration tank effluent are settled rectangular settling tanks, known as secondary clarifiers. The majority of these settled solids are returned to the aeration tank to enhance the treatment efficiency and a small portion is wasted to aerobic digesters for stabilization.

Treated effluent from the secondary clarifiers is disinfected prior to discharge to produce an effluent which is non-toxic to aquatic life. Under normal conditions, final effluent is discharged by gravity through a diffused outfall extending approximately 235 m offshore into Lake Ontario. To protect the treatment facility from flooding under extreme peak flow or high lake level conditions, an automated effluent pumping station is provided to overcome the head pressure of elevated Lake Ontario levels or increased flows to the facility.

Excess biosolids from the secondary clarifiers are directed to a two-stage aerobic digestion process for stabilization. The biosolids are stabilized to ensure compliance with all Ministry of Environment Guidelines. The stabilized biosolids are dewatered in a centrifuge to reduce the volume by approximately 90% and produce a moist soil-like product which is suitable for beneficial re-use.

Septage Hauling Program 

The Wastewater Treatment Plant operates a septage hauling program for residents that are not connected to the municipal sewage system. You will need a Septage Hauling Permit to access this service.

This service is only for depositing septage; no other waste will be accepted under this program.

Wastewater collection system

 The wastewater collection system (WWCS) collects and transports wastewater sewage from all residential, industrial, commercial, as well as other facilities connected to the sewer system to the wastewater treatment plant. The collection system is composed of gravity sewers, force mains and pumping stations.

The municipal collection system is monitored continually and operated within compliance of all applicable legislation.

Wastewater collection staff are responsible for the maintenance of sanitary infrastructure, CCTV camera, cleaning, and pipe repair, catch basin and manhole restoration. Staff also participate in confined space entries and spill response.

Preventing blockages and spills

 Wastewater spills occur when sewers are blocked or restricted. This can happen for a variety of reasons, the most common being:

  • Fat, oil, or grease (FOG)
  • Flushable wipes (please, we beg you, do not flush these items!)
  • Aging sewer pipes

Keep your pipes clean

The best way to manage fat, oil and grease (FOG) is to keep the material out of the plumbing systems. Do not put the following items down the drain:
  • Meats
  • Sauces
  • Gravies 
  • Salad dressing
  • Deep fried dishes
  • Dairy products
  • Soups
  • Chili
  • Pastas
  • Pastries
  • Butter or margarine

These are all foods that contain fats, oils and grease and they can clog the flow in your drains and sewers. When grease cools it can stick to our sewer pipes and over time block the sewers completely.

You can reduce the chance of a blockage by:

• Putting cooking oils in your green bin

• Wiping greasy pots and pans with a paper towel before soaking them in the sink

• Placing strainers in your sink drain to catch food waste before it enter yours plumbing.

Common Myths

 Here are a few common wastewater myths to be aware of: 

  • Garburators do not stop grease from going down the drain.
  • Shredded food wastes can add to odours and blockages in your sewer.
  • Commercial additives, including detergents, may not dissolve grease (undissolved grease may pass down your sewer and cause problems further in the sewer system).