This information has been archived because it is outdated and no longer relevant.
Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.
To download an Adobe Acrobat Version of this document click here
Codes and protocols
Report EPS 1-WP-75-1
Reports pertaining to Regulations, Codes and Protocols describe current legislation and administrative approaches favoured by the Environmental Protection Service.
Other categories in the EPS series include such groups as Policy and planning; Economic and technical review; technology development; Surveillance; Briefs and Submissions to Public Inquiries; and, Environmental Impact and Assessment.
Inquiries pertaining to the Environmental Protection Service Report Series should be directed to the Environmental Protection Service, Department of the Environment, Ottawa K1A 0H3, Ontario, Canada.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
GUIDELINES FOR THE CONTROL OF LIQUID EFFLUENTS FROM FISH, SHELLFISH AND FISH MEAL PROCESSING OPERATIONS
1. These Guidelines may be cited as the Fish Processing Operations Liquid Effluent Guidelines.
2. In these Guidelines,
"Act" means the Fisheries Act;
"bloodwater" means the liquid phase, consisting mainly of fish blood, associated with the storage of whole fish and offal;
"clean process water" means water used in the fish processing operation or fish meal operation that does not come into contact with the raw fish, processed fish or offal;
"contaminated process water means all water used by a fish processing operation or fish meal operation that has been in contact with raw fish, processed fish or offal and includes water utilised for the off-loading of fish from fishing vessels to the fish processing operation or fish meal operation;
"discharge" means a discharge or deposit into receiving water;
"domestic sewage" means the liquid effluent originating from toilets or other sanitary facilities;
"fish meal operation" means any facilities used for the processing of whole fish and offal to fish meal;
"fish processing operation" means facilities intended and used primarily for the processing of fish;
"liquid effluent" means any liquid discharge from a fish processing operation or fish meal operation and includes clean process water, contaminated process water, domestic sewage, pressliquor, stickwater, bloodwater, storm water and their associated solids;
"mesh" means the number of openings on a screen per linear inch of surface; "outfall" means the point at which any liquid effluent from a fish processing operation or fish meal operation enter the receiving water;
"pressliquor" means the liquid phase following the pressing of fish during the production of fish meal; "receiving water" means water that flows to or is water frequented by fish;
"stickwater" means the liquid phase following the removal of oil from pressliquor;
"storm water" means water run-off that results from precipitation of any kind that falls on a fish processing operation or a fish meal operation and includes water run-off originating from outside the fish processing operation or fish meal operation; that passes over or through the fish processing operation or fish meal operation.
3. These Guidelines apply to every fish processing operation and fish meal operation.
4.(1) The objectives of these Guidelines is to provide a basis for reviewing plans for liquid effluent control from new fish processing or fish meal operations and plans for alterations to or extensions of existing fish processing or fish meal operations as outlined in section 33.1 of the Act.
(2) These Guidelines shall be used for determining the requirements for existing fish processing or fish meal operations to meet an acceptable level of liquid effluent control.
Sewers and Drainage Systems
5. Sewers and drainage systems of fish processing and fish meal operations should be designed in such a way that contaminated process water, clean process water, storm water and domestic sewage are segregated for treatment as required in these Guidelines.
Treatment of Liquid Effluents from Fish Processing Operations
6.(1) All contaminated process water should be treated for solids removal and the solids removal facilities should produce an effluent similar in quality to that produced by 25 mesh screening of the contaminated process water. A 25 mesh screen has wire openings of 0.71 millimetres (0.0280 inches).
(2) Clean process water may be discharged directly to the receiving water.
(3) Storm water flows may be discharged directly to the receiving water if the storm water does not come into contact with raw fish or offal.
(4) If storm water comes into contact with raw fish or offal it should be handled as contaminated process water as outlined in subsection (I).
(5) Domestic sewage should be treated and disposed of in a manner satisfactory to the relevant regulatory agency.
(6) Plants with reduction facilities should not discharge bloodwater from offal storage areas located in the fish processing plant
Offal Disposal and Fish Meal Operations
7. Where transportation of offal and whole fish to an offsite fish meal or other recovery or disposal operation is necessary, the transportation facilities should be so designed to prevent any leakage of bloodwater and offal.
Liquid Effluent From Fish Meal Operations
8.( 1) Stickwater and pressliquor should not be discharged to the receiving water.
(2) Bloodwater should not be discharged to the receiving water.
Sampling and Metering
9.( 1) The sewer and drainage systems should be designed to permit sampling of the liquid effluent at each outfall.
(2) A suitable method of metering the flow of contaminated process water should be available.
10.( 1) All outfalls should have the approval of the appropriate regulatory agency.
(2) Outfalls should be located in such a manner as to be sub- merged at low tide.
11. If discharge of treated liquid effluents leads to a deterioration of the receiving water quality then the fish processing operation or fish meal operation concerned may be required to install more advanced liquid effluent treatment than that specified in these effluent Guidelines
Assistant Deputy Minister
EXPLANATORY NOTES TO THE GUIDELINES FOR THE CONTROL OF LIQUID EFFLUENTS FROM FISH. SHELLFISH AND FISH MEAL PROCESSING OPERATIONS
The following explanatory notes are intended to clarify the meaning and intent of the Guidelines:
The Guidelines are intended to indicate to the fish processing and fish meal processing industry the level of effluent controls considered necessary to the federal government. The Guidelines will be applied uniformly across Canada as minimum effluent controls. However, a processing facility located in an environmentally sensitive area may be subject to stricter controls. Provincial or local governments may impose even more stringent standards than the federal requirements. In this case the more stringent requirements will prevail.
The aim of the Guidelines is to suggest that ail fish processing and fish meal processing facilities operating in Canada apply best practicable treatment technology to their liquid effluents. For this purpose, best practicable treatment means a system equivalent to the following:
(a) Solids removal from contaminated process water followed by,
(b) A well designed outfall discharging below low tide,
(c) The recovery of certain high strength wastes associated with fish meal processing,
(d) Good housekeeping.
Guidelines and Regulations
A regulation can be considered as a specific law that legally applies to all relevant situations. A government agency does not have the authority to exempt anyone from their legal obligations to obey a regulation under the pollution control provisions of the Fisheries Act. In contrast, a guideline is not a specific law as is a statute or regulation. The Fish Processing Operations Liquid Effluent Guidelines are a statement which indicates what practices Environment Canada considers to be compliance with the intent of the pollution control provisions of the Fisheries Act. It must be remembered that a guideline is not a law and as such a government agency can make exceptions to the general rule in circumstances where it considers exceptions appropriate. A guideline permits flexibility and the exercise of discretion.
Contaminated Process Water
It may not be necessary for plants to fine screen certain contaminated process waters, if such contaminated process waters have low levels of suspended solids, for example, f1ume water used to move whole groundfish from storage to the processing area. Also it may not be necessary for plants to fine screen certain contaminated process waters which contain high levels of non-contaminating suspended solids, for example water used by equipment unloading groundfish stored in ice on ships. This decision will be based on negotiations between the plant concerned and the appropriate regulatory agency.
Contaminated process water is defined in the Guidelines as ail water used by a fish processing or fish meal operation that has been in contact with raw fish, processed fish or offal. However water used for the storage of crustaceans will not be considered contaminated process water.
Bloodwater and Stickwater Recovery
Bloodwater, a high strength effluent associated with the storage of whole fish and offal, should not be discharged from either fish processing or fish meal plants. However, the Guidelines allow for the discharge of bloodwater from fish processing facilities where no practical means of bloodwater recovery is available. In the case of bloodwater discharge from fish processing facilities it is recommended that the bloodwater be added to the contaminated process water prior to fine screening. As stated in item 6.6 of the Guidelines, if a fish processing facility has a reduction plant on-site, bloodwater associated with the storage of offal should be recovered.
In order that items 8.1 and 8.2 of the Guidelines, zero discharge of stickwater, pressliquor and bloodwater, can be adhered to in the case of equipment breakdown, the following provisions are suggested:
Either the provision of sufficient tankage to store a minimum of production of each liquor from one 8 hour shift. (Stickwater and bloodwater storage facilities should include acidification facilities to allow the pH of the contents to be lowered to 4.5 to permit satisfactory storage.)
Or the shut down of the complete fish meal operation until such time as the liquor recovery equipment is operating satisfactorily or other provision is made to handle the stickwater, pressliquor and bloodwater.
In the case of equipment breakdown which might lead to the direct discharge of stickwater, pressliquor or bloodwater, it is suggested that company officials inform the concerned EPS Regional Director of the situation.
Solids removal facilities (fine screens) are frequently hydraulically designed. Increases in water use to levels above the design capacity of the treatment facilities can lead to failure of the treatment systems. The metering of contaminated process water will indicate variations in the flow of the treatment facilities. Variations in the flow of contaminated process water could also be monitored by metering the total water flow into the plant. Variations in this total flow could indicate an increase in flow of the treatment facilities.
Increases in the Flow of contaminated process water to the treatment facilities should be reported to the appropriate regulatory agency on a regular basis. This reporting procedure will be negotiated for each plant by the appropriate regulatory agency.
In addition to locating outfalls in such a manner as to be submerged at low tide, it is suggested that outfall locations should be such that liquid effluent discharged:
a) will not affect the potential use of the receiving water for water supply or other purposes and,
b) will not cause unsightly conditions arising from floating oil, grease and fish solids,
Special consideration will be given to:
(a) plant located in areas where discharge below low water mark is impractical, for example, in areas with a particularly high tidal reach,
(b) plants located on wharves where exposed outfall pipes may be subjected to freezing conditions.
It is recommended that plants with a common outfall should each provide facilities to allow their individual plant ef5uents to be sampled.
The Guidelines specify solids removal as a minimum treatment for contaminated process water. Since solids removal is usually achieved by screening and since screens are frequently designed hydraulically, significant savings in pollution control costs can be achieved by minimising water usage in the plant. Care, however, must be exercised to ensure that reductions in water usage do not affect the sanitary quality of the product.
Wherever possible, it is suggested that operations should have space or land available to allow for expansion of the waste treatment facilities to include more advanced treatment systems when and where required.
The construction of new facilities or the alteration of existing operations frequently requires land to be cleared prior to construction. It is suggested that care be exercised to ensure that run-off from the cleared land which carries large volumes of sediment not be allowed to enter nearby water courses or harbours.
Provincial and Local Requirements
It is suggested that operators considering construction of a new facility or the alteration or extension of existing fish processing or fish meal operations contact all relevant local and Provincial regulatory agencies to ensure that their plans meet the environmental requirements of these agencies. It is suggested that such contact be made during the planning stages of any construction.
In order to ensure that construction of new facilities or the alteration or extension of existing fish processing or fish meal operations meet with the Fish Processing Operations Liquid Effluent Guidelines, it is suggested that plans and specifications be submitted to the Regional Director, Environmental Protection Service, Canada Department of Environment. The plans and specifications should include the following:
(a) A map showing the location of the operation and all outfalls in relation to existing facilities and natural features.
(b) A plan of the operation layout showing the location of drains and sewers.
(c) The proposed liquid effluent treatment system including its location and size.
(d) Proposed operation capacity and anticipated water usage.
(e) An indication of the sources of contaminated and clean process water.
Treatment requirements will be negotiated with each new plant. Existing fish processing or fish meal operations will be considered individually. Schedules of compliance with the Guidelines will be negotiated for each existing operation. The level of environmental damage associated with existing effluent discharges and the cost of installing necessary equipment and undertaking plant modifications will be considered during the negotiations with existing plants. Through the negotiation process some existing plants may be exempt from part or all of these Guidelines. Such negotiations will be carried out by the Environmental Protection Service of the Canada Department of the Environment and/or the Provincial regulatory control agency. (The Guidelines provide an indication to industry of the degree of treatment which will be required.)