oil spill on road and catch basin

If you are a citizen and notice a spill

Please Call Sarnia Police: 519-344-8861 Ext. 0.
Provide the location of the spill and what you are observing

If you are the owner of a spill

If you or your company is responsible for a substance that has spilled on public or private property, provincial law under the Environmental Protection Act states that you are required to report the spill to the provincial regulatory body and the municipality the spill has occurred in. The City’s municipal Sewer Use By-Law states that you must report the spill immediately also. If a flammable, poisonous, corrosive or explosive material gets spilled, it can be unsafe for people and the environment.

Please Call Sarnia Police: 519-344-8861 Ext. 0

Sewer Use By-Law

A By-Law to control the discharge of pollutants to the wastewater and stormwater works; to protect the wastewater and stormwater works from corrosion, other damage and obstruction, to protect the wastewater treatment processes from upset, to protect the public, municipal workers and property from hazardous conditions, to prevent uncontaminated water from entering the system, to protect wastewater sludge quality, to protect the natural environment that works discharge too from contaminants that are not removed by the public treatment system, and to ensure compliance with the operating conditions established by the Ontario Ministry responsible for the Environment.

The full Sewer Use By-Law can be found on our website.

Preventing Pollution at Businesses

If you’re a business owner, preventing pollution can help protect you from litigation, fines and expensive clean up costs.

  • Comply with the Sewer Use By-law at all time
  • Understand how drainage flows out on your commercial/industrial property and maintain your private drainage system properly
  • If your business produces liquid waste, you must follow applicable federal, provincial and municipal requirements.
  • Liquid wastes cannot be discharged into storm drains or the storm sewer system.
  • Create a pollution prevention plan if your business involves any type of material that could cause a spill. The plan should detail the material handling, storage and movement of materials to prevent spills.
  • Create a spill response plan in the event liquid materials or wastes spill on your property
  • Keep all catchbasins and drains clear of litter and debris as part of your maintenance program

Preventing Pollution at Home

  • Keep yard waste in appropriate containers away from roadside catchbasins
  • Wash your vehicles at a car wash. This helps ensure water containing dirt and cleaning products flows into the sanitary sewer for treatment.
  • Avoid washing carpets, outdoor furniture and other items on the driveway. Soaps, detergents and cleaning products flowing into catchbasins harm water downstream.
  • Maintain your car regularly to make sure engine fluids are not leaking. Clean up any spills or leaks promptly.
  • Dispose of chlorinated and salt water pool wastewater safely.
  • Vacuum, sweep, and use rags or dry absorbents on your driveway to control spills instead of hosing it down. This runoff goes into the nearest roadside catchbasin and then into the environment.
  • For your garden select native plant species and plants that need less fertilizer to minimize polluted runoff
  • Avoid over-spraying pelletized fertilizers onto driveways, sidewalks and the roadway
  • Apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions
  • Keep litter, pet waste, leaves and debris out of street gutters, storm catchbasins and ditches
  • If you’re completing renovations, make sure your contractor disposes of any liquid construction waste according to the Storm Sewer By-law and provincial waste regulation 347. Never discharge polluted water into catchbasins.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions when applying ice control chemicals. Shovel and scrape snow and ice first.
  • Dispose of cigarette butts safely in a designated spot
  • Dispose of all food and beverage wastes either as solid waste for curbside pick-up or approved liquid waste into the sanitary sewer system
  • Use Lambton County’s Household Hazardous Waste days to dispose of hazardous waste like used oil, antifreeze, paints or other household chemicals

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