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A pump removes contaminated water from a construction site to discharge into a sanitary sewer
MPCA Photos [CC BY-NC 2.0], Flickr

Wastewater discharge permit (for construction at contaminated sites)

This permit regulates contaminated water discharge to the sanitary sewer during construction.

The wastewater discharge permit (for construction at contaminated sites) can be part of the process of applying for a building permit, a development permit, or rezoning. It is not required in every case.

The City is here to help

For information specific to the proposed project on your property, call the Development and Business Services Centre at 604-873-7611. Our staff will help you determine which permits you need, and help you navigate through the process, so you can speak to your contractor with confidence.

Supporting documentation

With your completed application, you must provide

  • A completed site profile form. A site profile is a questionnaire regarding the past and present uses of a site. It is designed as a screening tool for potentially contaminated sites.
  • A site plan
  • Proof of a registry search (within 30 days of application date) showing that your company is registered with BC’s provincial Ministry of Finance

 If previous use of the site raises concerns about possible contamination, you may have to negotiate a soil remediation plan or Soils Agreement with the City. 

Process and timeline

  1. Mail or bring your application, the required documents, and permit fee to the appropriate address (addresses are listed on the right).
  2. Applications and site profiles are reviewed by staff in the Environmental Protection department. They will then determine what, if any, additional steps are needed.
  3. You will be notified if your permit is approved, or if additional reviews are needed. The initial review will take about 1 month. If additional reviews are needed, they will also take about 1 month each. If a Soils Agreement is needed, it will take several more months to complete; you will be notified when the permit is approved.

Amend your permit

A minor amendment to your permit involves:

  • Changing your company’s name or legal address
  • Changing your monitoring program
  • Reducing the quantity of contaminants or flow requested
  • Changing the discharge you are authorized for in a way that, in the opinion of the Sewage Control Manager, will mean equal or lower demand for regulation and treatment
  • Changing the works or measures you are authorized for in a way that, in the opinion of the Sewage Control Manager, will mean equal or lower demand for regulation and treatment

A major amendment is any amendment that is not a minor amendment.


Item Fee
Initial application $500.00, for a maximum instantaneous flow of 6 L/s or less
$1,000.00, for a maximum instantaneous flow of more than 6 L/s
Site profile review $100.00
Contaminated water discharge $0.80 per cubic metre
Minor amendment $250.00
Major amendment $500.00

Tax is not charged on wastewater discharge permits.

Pay for the permit when you apply for it, by cheque issued to City of Vancouver.


Contact Environmental Protection


Phone: 3-1-1 (604-873-7000 outside Vancouver)

Fax: 604-873-7963

5th Floor, 507 W Broadway (at Cambie)
Open Mon to Fri: 8:30am to 4:30pm

Mailing address
City of Vancouver
Environmental Protection Branch
453 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4