Document Type


Publication Date



Canada releases over 150 billion litres of untreated and undertreated wastewater into the water environment every year1. To clean up urban wastewater, new Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER) on establishing national baseline effluent quality standards that are achievable through secondary wastewater treatment were enacted on July 18, 2012. With respect to the wastewater from the combined sewer overflows (CSO), the Regulations require the municipalities to report the annual quantity and frequency of effluent discharges. The City of Toronto currently has about 300 CSO locations within an area of approximately 16,550 hectares. The total sewer length of the CSO area is about 3,450 km and the number of sewer manholes is about 51,100. A system-wide monitoring of all CSO locations has never been undertaken due to the cost and practicality. Instead, the City has relied on estimation methods and modelling approaches in the past to allow funds that would otherwise be used for monitoring to be applied to the reduction of the impacts of the CSOs. To fulfill the WSER requirements, the City is now undertaking a study in which GIS-based hydrologic and hydraulic modelling is the approach. Results show the usefulness of this for 1) determining the flows contributing to the combined sewer system in the local and trunk sewers for dry weather flow, wet weather flow, and snowmelt conditions; 2) assessing hydraulic grade line and surface water depth in all the local and trunk sewers under heavy rain events; 3) analysis of local and trunk sewer capacities for future growth; and 4) reporting of the annual quantity and frequency of CSOs as per the requirements in the new Regulations. This modelling approach has also allowed funds to be applied toward reducing and ultimately eliminating the adverse impacts of CSOs rather than expending resources on unnecessary and costly monitoring.


Session R33, Hydrologic Modeling: Use and Integration of GIS



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.