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Version of document from 2006-03-22 to 2007-05-02:

Great Lakes Sewage Pollution Prevention Regulations

C.R.C., c. 1429


Regulations Respecting Prevention of Pollution of the Great Lakes Waters by Sewage From Ships

Short Title

 These Regulations may be cited as the Great Lakes Sewage Pollution Prevention Regulations.

  • SOR/2005-139, s. 1(F)


 In these Regulations,

approved device

approved device means a marine sanitation device approved by the Director, in accordance with these Regulations; (appareil approuvé)


B.O.D. means the quantity of oxygen utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter during a five-day period when the organic matter is tested in accordance with the method described in section 5210 B of the Standard Methods; (D.B.O.)


Director means the Director General, Ship Safety Directorate, Canadian Coast Guard, Department of Transport, Ottawa, Ontario; (directeur)


discharge includes, but not so as to limit its meaning, any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, throwing or dumping; (déversement)

holding tank

holding tank means a tank used for the collection and storage of sewage for eventual disposal; (citerne de retenue)

marine sanitation device

marine sanitation device means any equipment installed on board a ship to receive and treat sewage; (appareil d’épuration marine)


person includes a partnership or association; (personne)


recognized means recognized in writing by the Director; (reconnu)

residual chlorine content

residual chlorine content means the quantity of free available chlorine when tested in accordance with the amperometric titration method described in section 4500-Cl D of the Standard Methods; (chlore résiduel)


sewage means human excrement and wastes from toilets and other receptacles intended to receive or retain human excrement or other wastes, but does not include galley or washing-facility wastes; (eaux d’égout)

Standard Methods

Standard Methods means the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, published by the American Public Health Association, as amended from time to time; (Standard Methods)

suspended solids

suspended solids means the total suspended matter in or on a liquid when it is tested in accordance with the method described in section 2540 D of the Standard Methods. (matières solides en suspension).

  • SOR/80-878, s. 1
  • SOR/93-207, s. 1
  • SOR/2005-139, s. 2

 [Repealed, SOR/2005-139, s.3]


  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), these Regulations apply to every ship in the Canadian waters of

    • (a) the Great Lakes; and

    • (b) the St. Lawrence River as far east as the lower exit of the St. Lambert Lock at Montreal.

  • (2) These Regulations do not apply to

    • (a) a naval ship or a ship for the time being used as a naval auxiliary;

    • (b) a ship that is used solely for pleasure and is not carrying persons or goods for hire or reward, whether or not the ship is chartered or hired by or on behalf of the persons carried thereon;

    • (b.1) a ship that complies with the provisions of the United States Department of Transport (Coast Guard) Regulations for marine sanitation devices, Title 33, Part 159 of the Code of Federal Regulations, promulgated January 30, 1975 and amended April 12, 1976 and January 3, 1977, until February 4, 1983;

    • (c) a ship the keel of which is laid, or, if no keel is laid, that is at a similar stage of construction, on or after the date of the coming into force of these Regulations, until three years after the date of the coming into force of these Regulations; or

    • (d) a ship other than one described in paragraph (c), until February 4, 1983.

  • SOR/78-917, s. 1
  • SOR/80-878, s. 2
  • SOR/82-410, s. 1
  • SOR/2005-139, s. 4(F)

Sewage Disposal

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), no ship shall discharge sewage into any waters described in subsection 4(1) and no person shall discharge or permit the discharge of sewage from a ship into any such waters.

  • (2) Sewage may be discharged from a ship

    • (a) to secure the safety of the ship or persons on board; or

    • (b) as the result of damage to the ship or its equipment if all reasonable precautions have been taken before and after the occurrence of the damage for the purpose of preventing or minimizing the discharge.

Approved Devices and Holding Tanks

  •  (1) Every ship that has toilet facilities shall be fitted with an approved device or a holding tank.

  • (2) Where

    • (a) an application, in writing, has been made to the Director for approval of a marine sanitation device in accordance with Part I of the schedule, and

    • (b) the device meets the applicable requirements of Parts II and III of the schedule,

    the Director shall approve the device and issue an approval number in respect thereof.

  • (3) Subject to subsection (5), where a prototype marine sanitation device has been approved in accordance with subsection (2), all devices that conform in all respects to the prototype shall be deemed to be approved and shall carry the same approval number as the prototype.

  • (4) Every approved device shall be marked with the approval number in the same place and in the same manner as the information described in subsection 3(1) of the schedule.

  • (5) The Director may withdraw the approval of a marine sanitation device if he has reason to believe that any part of the device ceases to meet the applicable provisions of these Regulations.

  • (6) An approved device that is designed to treat sewage shall be so positioned or located as to allow a sample of the effluent to be obtained from inside the ship at a point where there is to be no further treatment.

  • (7) The master shall ensure that the record referred to in subsection 2(4) of the schedule is dated and retained on board the ship for at least 12 months.

  • (8) [Repealed, SOR/2005-139, s. 5]

  • (9) When an approved device is fitted in a ship to which these Regulations apply, the owner of the ship shall, within a reasonable time thereafter, notify the Director in writing of

    • (a) the name of the ship;

    • (b) the official number of the ship;

    • (c) the Director’s approval number for the device; and

    • (d) the manufacturer’s serial number for the device.

  • (10) Every ship that is fitted with an approved device shall have on board at least two copies of the approved documents described in subsection 3(2) of the schedule.

  • SOR/80-878, s. 3
  • SOR/2005-139, s. 5

 In a Canadian ship

  • (a) a double bottom tank shall not be used as a holding tank; and

  • (b) primary or secondary members of the ship’s hull structure shall not form part of a holding tank,

unless space limitations preclude compliance with this section and the holding tank is constructed of a material other than mild steel that is non-corrosive when in direct contact with sewage.

  • SOR/80-878, s. 4

 In every Canadian ship fitted with a holding tank, that tank shall

  • (a) be fitted with at least one level indicator that

    • (i) does not require the operator to come into contact with the sewage, and

    • (ii) indicates when the tank is 75 per cent full by volume;

  • (b) be fitted with a vent pipe that

    • (i) is made of steel or a material that is non-corrosive when in direct contact with sewage,

    • (ii) has a diameter and scantlings sufficiently large to avoid excessive pressure build-up, and

    • (iii) except where it is impractical, terminates at a safe location not less than 3 m above the uppermost accommodation level; and

  • (c) have a flame screen made of non-corrosive material fitted to the vent outlet.

  • SOR/80-878, s. 4
  • SOR/86-452, s. 1(F)

 Where a ship is fitted with a holding tank, a record of the dates and locations at which the tank is pumped out shall be kept on board the ship for a period of at least 12 months.

  • SOR/80-878, s. 4


 Notwithstanding anything contained in these Regulations, where these Regulations require a marine sanitation device to have a particular fitting, material, appliance or other provision or to undergo a particular test, the Director may allow any other fitting, material, appliance, provision or test, if that other fitting, material, appliance, provision or test is at least equivalent to that required by these Regulations.

  • SOR/78-659, s. 1

SCHEDULE(s. 6)Approval of Marine Sanitation Devices

Approval Procedure
    • 1 (1) Subject to subsection (2), an application for the approval of a marine sanitation device shall identify the device by type or model and shall include in triplicate the following information where applicable:

      • (a) complete construction plans, fully dimensioned, showing the physical and  chemical properties of the materials;

      • (b) design parameters and calculations showing

        • (i) operating principles,

        • (ii) anticipated performance results under average and extreme conditions of loading, ambient temperatures and ship motion,

        • (iii) retention time under maximum loading conditions,

        • (iv) maximum user capacity in terms of flow rate or number of persons the device is capable of serving,

        • (v) electrical power requirements and circuit diagrams,

        • (vi) instrumentation, control feature diagrams and specifications,

        • (vii) means of venting, and

        • (viii) safety features;

      • (c) installation instructions;

      • (d) operating and maintenance instructions;

      • (e) schedule of production quality control and inspection and test procedures;

      • (f) the name of the recognized test establishment that performed the tests required by Part III; and

      • (g) all test results obtained and certified by the recognized test establishment referred to in paragraph (f).

    • (2) The information required by paragraphs (1)(a) to (f) may be submitted prior to obtaining the test results referred to in paragraph (1)(g), in which case the Director may issue a partial approval with respect to those items covered by paragraphs (1)(a) to (f).

Design and Construction
    • 2 (1) Every marine sanitation device shall be built of materials that are corrosion resistant under the conditions of use and designed

      • (a) so as to prevent the escape of dangerous gases or obnoxious odours into the interior of the ship;

      • (b) so that the device is not an integral part of the ship’s structure; and

      • (c) so that the potable water systems or other systems cannot be contaminated by sewage or treated effluent.

    • (2) Every marine sanitation device shall

      • (a) have all components made of non-flammable materials or of materials that do not support combustion;

      • (b) where possible, have piping and components made of steel or equivalent material;

      • (c) have each part of the device that is required by the manufacturer’s instructions to be routinely serviced readily accessible;

      • (d) have, as an integral part of the device, suitable containers for chemicals that are specified or provided by the manufacturer for use in the operation of the device and the containers shall have a means of indicating the remaining supply of such chemicals;

      • (e) have all heavy components of the device securely bolted to seatings and not dependent on connected piping for support;

      • (f) have sampling valves fitted on the device at every location where the design of the device requires periodic sampling; and

      • (g) be designed so that the device operates efficiently when inclined 15° in any direction from the horizontal.

    • (3) Every marine sanitation device that discharges an effluent into water shall be designed to treat sewage so that, without the sewage being diluted otherwise than by the addition of disinfectant or chemicals to neutralize the disinfectant,

      • (a) the effluent contains not more than 50 mg/L of

        • (i) suspended solids, or

        • (ii) B.O.D.; and

      • (b) the effluent has

        • (i) a residual chlorine content of not less than 0.5 mg/L or more than 1.0 mg/L after the chlorine has been in contact with the sewage for at least 30 minutes, if the disinfectant used is chlorine, or

        • (ii) a fecal coliform count of not more than 200/100 mL, if the disinfectant used is a substance other than chlorine.

    • (4) An approved device that is designed to produce an effluent that meets the standard set out in paragraphs (3)(a) and (b) shall include instrumentation to indicate the performance of the device by providing an automatic continuous record while the device is in operation of measurements of

      • (a) suspended matter;

      • (b) residual disinfectant content, in the case of disinfection by chlorine; and

      • (c) disinfection efficiency, in the case of disinfection by any other method.

    • (5) [Revoked, SOR/80-878, s. 5]

Documentation and Operation
    • 3 (1) Every marine sanitation device shall be permanently and legibly marked with lettering of at least 3 mm in height, stamped on the device or on a suitable plate fastened to the device, showing where applicable

      • (a) the name of the manufacturer;

      • (b) the name and model number of the device;

      • (c) the date of completion of manufacture (month and year);

      • (d) the manufacturer’s serial number;

      • (e) the average and peak capacity (flow rate, volume or number of persons served) of the device and the period of time for which it is rated to operate at peak capacity;

      • (f) the power requirements (voltage and current);

      • (g) the type and quantity of fuel required;

      • (h) the type and quantity of chemicals required;

      • (i) the cycle time for an unitized incinerating device;

      • (j) the maximum angles of pitch and roll to which the device is designed to operate satisfactorily;

      • (k) water (salt, fresh or brackish) in which the device is designed to operate;

      • (l) the maximum safe working pressure at which the device is designed to operate; and

      • (m) the maximum operating level of liquid retention components.

    • (2) The following documentation relating to every marine sanitation device shall be submitted to the Director for approval:

      • (a) directions for

        • (i) installing the device so that all parts that require servicing are readily accessible and any required flue clearance is provided,

        • (ii) the safe operation and servicing of the device,

        • (iii) cleaning, winter lay up and ash or sludge removal,

        • (iv) installing vent piping and flue piping,

        • (v) handling, storage and the use of any chemicals necessary for operating the device, and

        • (vi) recommended methods of making fuel, plumbing and electrical connections, with electrical supply circuit over-current protection;

      • (b) a complete parts list;

      • (c) a schematic diagram showing the relative location of each part;

      • (d) a wiring diagram;

      • (e) a description of the servicing that may be performed without coming into contact with sewage or chemicals; and

      • (f) operating directions, safety precautions and warnings, if any, printed in lettering of at least 3 mm in height on a placard suitable for posting on or near the device.

Automatic Operation
  • 4 Every marine sanitation device that discharges an effluent into water shall

    • (a) be capable of automatic operation for a period of at least 24 hours without supervision; and

    • (b) be fitted with visible and audible alarms to indicate malfunctions.

  • 5 Every marine sanitation device shall be tested by a recognized test establishment in accordance with the procedures set out in this Part.

Hydrostatic Test
    • 6 (1) Every liquid retention tank shall be subject, for one hour, to

      • (a) a hydrostatic pressure of not less than 2.5 m head of water, or

      • (b) a hydrostatic pressure of not less than one and one-half times the maximum to which it could be subjected in service,

      whichever is the greater, and shall show no evidence of leakage.

    • (2) Where a liquid retention tank is to be lined with a protective coating, the hydrostatic test referred to in subsection (1) shall be carried out prior to the application of the protective coating.

Materials Suitability Tests
  • 7 In any case where doubt exists as to the ability of a material to withstand exposure and contact with substances normally found in marine sanitation devices, samples of the material shall

    • (a) be partially submerged for 100 hours at an ambient temperature of 22°C in each of the following substances, namely,

      • (i) sewage,

      • (ii) any disinfectant that is required in the operation of the device,

      • (iii) any chemical compound produced in the operation of the device,

      • (iv) fresh water,

      • (v) salt water containing not less than 3.5 per cent sodium chloride, by weight,

      • (vi) toilet bowl cleansers,

      • (vii) engine oil (S.A.E. No. 30),

      • (viii) ethylene glycol,

      • (ix) household detergents,

      • (x) bilge cleaning detergents, and

      • (xi) a mixture of the substances mentioned in subparagraphs (i) to (x) if it appears, in the opinion of the Director, that the deleterious effects of those substances are additive, and

    • (b) be doused 20 times, allowing a one-hour drying period between dousing, in each of the following substances:

      • (i) gasoline,

      • (ii) diesel fuel,

      • (iii) mineral spirits,

      • (iv) turpentine, and

      • (v) methyl alcohol,

      and shall show no significant deterioration in the chemical composition and physical characteristics of the material after such treatment.

Prototype Operational Tests — Discharging Systems
    • 8 (1) A prototype of every marine sanitation device that discharges an effluent into water shall satisfactorily undergo the operational test referred to in subsection (3).

    • (2) The test referred to in subsection (3) shall be performed on the same device and the device shall be

      • (a) set up in a manner simulating installation on a ship in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions with respect to mounting, water supply, discharge fittings and other piping; and

      • (b) operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

    • (3) Subject to subsection (4), after an initial start-up time the device shall be subjected to an operational test involving the following procedures and during which it meets the following requirements:

      • (a) it shall treat fresh sewage that consists of fecal matter, urine, toilet paper and flush water and has a minimum concentration of 500 mg/l of suspended solids and to which primary sewage sludge has been added, if necessary to attain that concentration,

      • (b) in the case of an intermittent treatment device, it shall process sewage of the concentration specified in paragraph (a) and of a quantity that is 25 per cent greater than the average flow capacity specified by the manufacturer, over a period of at least eight consecutive hours on at least 10 days within a 20-day period,

      • (c) subject to paragraph (d), in the case of a continuous treatment device or a large device, as determined by the Director, it shall process sewage of the concentration specified in paragraph (a) over at least 10 consecutive days at the average daily flow capacity specified by the manufacturer and, during three periods of each day, the device shall process sewage at the peak flow capacity for the time it is rated at such capacity,

      • (d) in the case of a biological system, during the fifth or sixth day of the 10 consecutive day test period, in lieu of the tests specified in paragraph (c), the device shall process a quantity of sewage that is 20 per cent of the daily flow capacity specified by the manufacturer,

      • (e) there shall be no sewage or treatment chemicals remaining on the surfaces or in crevices that could come in contact with a person servicing the device in accordance with the description of servicing referred to in paragraph 3(2)(e),

      • (f) for one hour of each eight-hour test period, it shall be tilted about its transverse and longitudinal axes to the maximum angles specified by the manufacturer and shown on the device in accordance with paragraph 3(1)(j) or to 15° from the normal operating position, whichever is the greater, and at least one tilt shall be in each one of the four directions about those axes,

      • (g) 40 effluent samples shall be taken during the 10-day period referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c) of which, during each day,

        • (i) one sample shall be taken at the beginning, middle and end of an eight consecutive hour period, and

        • (ii) one sample shall be taken at a peak flow capacity during the period referred to in subparagraph (i),

      • (h) for two of the eight consecutive hour periods referred to in paragraph (g), when effluent samples are taken the influent sewage temperature shall be made to vary from 2°C to 32°C between the second and sixth hours, and

      • (i) an analysis of one sample of the influent and one sample of the effluent, per day, shall be conducted in accordance with the methods described in the Standard Methods to assess the following parameters:

        • (i) total solids,

        • (ii) volatile solids,

        • (iii) settleable solids,

        • (iv) suspended solids,

        • (v) volatile suspended solids,

        • (vi) B.O.D. and chemical oxygen demand,

        • (vii) turbidity in Jackson turbidity units,

        • (viii) total phosphorus,

        • (ix) disinfectant residual,

        • (x) pH value,

        • (xi) fecal coliforms, and

        • (xii) total coliforms

    • (4) When performing the applicable tests referred to in subsection (3), the level of disinfection shall be sufficient to ensure that the final effluent has a fecal coliform count not greater than 200/100 ml.

Prototype Operational Tests — Incinerating Systems
  • 9 If incineration is employed in the final disposal of sewage, the incinerator shall

    • (a) incinerate only when the combustion chamber door is closed;

    • (b) purge the combustion chamber of combustible fuel vapours prior to and after incineration;

    • (c) shut down automatically if the burner does not ignite;

    • (d) not allow an excess accumulation of fuel in the combustion chamber;

    • (e) not produce a temperature on surfaces adjacent to the incineration chamber higher than 67°C and not produce a temperature on surfaces exposed to normal body contact higher than 41°C when operating in an ambient temperature of 25°C;

    • (f) completely burn all incoming sewage to a dry inert ash; and

    • (g) not discharge or emit fly ash, malodours or toxic substances.

Prototype Operational Tests — Recirculating Systems
  • 10 In the case of a marine sanitation device that, according to the manufacturer's specifications, processes sewage to a lesser standard than that referred to in paragraphs 2(3)(a) and (b) and that recirculates the treated fluid, the tests to be carried out on the device shall be similar to those for a discharging system with any variations appropriate to test the particular device, but the level of disinfection of the recirculated fluid shall be such that the fecal coliform count is not greater than 240/100 mL.

  •  SOR/80-878, ss. 5 to 8
  • SOR/2005-139, ss. 6 to 8

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