Wastewater Collection and Treatment


"Our mission is to protect our environment and public health safety by effectively managing wastewater generated in our community.”

Our municipal wastewater staff are responsible for the following activities:

  • Operation and maintenance of the Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Operation and maintenance of 4 sewage pumping stations
  • Maintenance of the municipal wastewater collections system
  • Environmental monitoring and enforcement the Sewer By-Law
  • Environment Protection Laboratory


Service Requests will be received by phone by calling 905-885-2431 or email at publicworks@porthope.ca

For after-hours emergency assistance related to Water, Wastewater or Roads please call 905-885-2431 and Press "2". Our Contact Centre Agents at T.A.S. Communications will be very pleased to assist you.


Bypass means diversion of sewage around one or more treatment processes, excluding Preliminary Treatment System, within the Sewage Treatment Plant with the diverted flows being returned to the Sewage Treatment Plant treatment train upstream of the Final Effluent sampling point(s) and discharge via the approved effluent disposal facilities.

Overflow means a discharge to the environment from the Works at designed location(s) other than the approved effluent disposal facilities or via the effluent disposal facilities downstream of the final Effluent sampling point.


The Municipality of Port Hope places a high value in protecting the natural environment and local waterways. As such, the Municipality is committed to posting information about sewage bypass and overflows to the Municipal website within one business day of such an occurrence.

A sewage bypass can occur when a structural, mechanical or electrical failure causes a temporary reduction in the capacity of a treatment process that is likely to result in personal injury, loss of life, health hazard, basement flooding, severe property damage, equipment damage or treatment process upset, if a portion of the flow is not bypassed. Planned bypasses, if it is a direct and unavoidable result of a planned repair and maintenance procedure or other circumstance(s), must be approved by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, prior to the bypass event.

A sewage overflow occurs when wastewater overflows to the natural environment from the sanitary collection system or when there is a discharge of partially treated sewage from a wastewater treatment plant, often as a result of excessive groundwater and stormwater entering the system during heavy rains, rapid snowmelt or pipe breakage.

The Municipalities sanitary collection systems are nominally separate, meaning that sanitary and stormwater flows are carried in different pipes with different destinations, however stormwater inflows and infiltrates into the sanitary system from numerous sources.

Wastewater bypasses and overflows within the Municipalities sanitary system are extremely rare.

Reporting to Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks

By law, the Municipality is required to report sanitary bypasses and overflows to the Spills Action Centre, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and the Medical Officer of Health, Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

This information is currently captured in the Municipalities annual performance reports for the wastewater treatment plant and the wastewater collection system. The Municipalities annual performance reports are available for download under the Wastewater Treatment Plant and Wastewater Collection System drop down tabs.

Wastewater Bypass and Overflow Reports

Recent Port Hope Wastewater Treatment Plant Bypass or Overflow Events


Cause of Event



Approx. Volume of Event


No events to Report








Recent Port Hope Wastewater Collection System Overflow Events


Cause of Event



Approx. Volume of Event


Heavy Rain Event

Lake Street - Sanitary flow discharged from manholes

1.25 hours

13.5 m3




Heavy Rain Event

Ridout Street - Sanitary flow discharged from manholes

3 hours

86.4 m3


The Municipality designs and upgrades its wastewater treatment and collection system to ensure adequate storage capacity and minimize the risk of bypass and overflow events. All infrastructure work within the Municipality must adhere to the Municipalities Engineering Standards and provincial requirements.

Reducing Overflows

The Municipality is currently undertaking work to complete a sanitary collection model which will enable Staff to identify existing system deficiencies and create a capital improvement plan aimed at reducing and replacing undersized and substandard infrastructure.

The Municipality of Port Hope Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) can treat 11,300 cubic meters per day. The WWTP was commissioned on April 1, 2010 and had a grand opening on April 23, 2010. Operators maintain traditional work hours between Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 3:30 pm and are on-call 24/7, 365 days a year.

Flow from the Wastewater Collection System and Septic Haulers is introduced to the headworks facility consisting of 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 hauled 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 (3 parallel tanks available), 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.

2019 Wastewater Treatment System Annual Performance Report

The Wastewater Treatment Plant operates a septage hauling program for residents that are not connected to the municipal sewage system. This service is only for depositing septage; no other waste will be accepted under this program.

This service requires septage haulers to obtain a Septage Hauling Permit.


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. Staff that maintain and operate the collection system are licensed and required to follow all regulatory requirements.

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.

2019 Wastewater Collection System Annual Performance Report

 Sewer blockages and spills are preventable!

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 (It’s a lie…. please, we beg you, do not flush these!)
  • aging sewer pipes

When grease cools it can stick to our sewer pipes and over time block the sewers completely. This can lead to raw wastewater backing up into your or your neighbour's basements. If the blockage originates from your kitchen you are likely to be the first affected. Clean ups of basements are messy and expensive. Other impacts could include raw wastewater spills into neighbourhood yards, parks and streets. Raw wastewater can contain disease causing bacteria. Contact with the raw wastewater could lead to cramps and diarrhea or more serious illnesses. Nuisance odours can permeate the neighbourhood from blockages.

Help to keep your sewer rates down by properly disposing of your kitchen wastes. The best way to manage Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) is to keep the material out of the plumbing systems. Meats, sauces, gravies, salad dressings, deep fried dishes, dairy products, soups, chili, pastas, pastries, butter and margarine are foods that contain fats oil and grease. As in your arteries, FOG can clog the flow in your drains and sewers (on your property and under the roadway).

You can help by:

  • Put cooking oil in your green bin
  • Need to soak a greasy pan? Simply wipe it out with a paper towel before putting it into the sink
  • Have baskets or strainers in your sink drains to catch food wastes

Fallacies corrected: 

  • Garburators don't stop grease from going down the drain and shredded food wastes can add to odours and blockages in your sewer.
  • Commercial additives, including detergents, may not dissolve grease. The undissolved grease may pass down your sewer and cause problems further in the sewer system. 

Graphic showing blockage in the pipes in a home affecting the system and causing damage

Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER) regulatees that Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) intends to publish data collected as a requirement of the WSER on the Government of Canada - Open Government website. The data will include a summary of information gathered in the WSER identification report, monitoring reports and combined sewer overflow reports. The datasets will not include any personal information such as contact names, mailing addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. 

The publication of datasets such as the WSER data supports the Government of Canada Directive on Open Government to maximize the release of data and information of business value. ECCC has received many requests for WSER data through the Access to Information Act in recent years, thus the publishing of this data will allow the public to obtain this data easily.