Navigating Regulatory Waters: SSR vs. MWR for Wastewater Discharge Registration

Navigating Regulatory Waters: SSR vs. MWR for Wastewater Discharge Registration

At MSR Solutions, we understand that navigating the regulatory landscape for wastewater discharge can be a complex task. It’s essential for businesses and organizations to ensure they comply with environmental regulations while efficiently managing their wastewater. In British Columbia, two primary avenues exist for registering wastewater discharges: Filing under the Sewerage System Regulation (SSR) with the local health authority and Registering under the Municipal Wastewater Regulation (MWR) with the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. In this post, we’ll explore the key differences between these two approaches to help you make informed decisions for your wastewater management needs.

Sewerage System Regulation (SSR) – Local Oversight for Local Impact

Local health authorities play a pivotal role in SSR registration. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Scope: SSR primarily applies to smaller wastewater systems with limited environmental impact, such as those in rural or less densely populated areas. These systems often serve individual homes, businesses, or smaller communities.

  2. Process: Under SSR, you’ll work closely with your local health authority to file for wastewater discharge. The focus here is on local impact and ensuring that wastewater is managed safely within the community.

  3. Regulatory Oversight: Local health authorities have jurisdiction and regulatory oversight in these cases. They review and approve wastewater management plans, issue permits, and monitor compliance.

  4. Flexibility: SSR allows for more flexibility in tailoring wastewater management solutions to local conditions, which can be advantageous for smaller communities and businesses.


Municipal Wastewater Regulation (MWR) – Provincial Oversight for Broader Impact

The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy administers the MWR. Let’s delve into the key aspects:

  1. Scope: MWR is designed for larger wastewater systems with the potential for broader environmental impact. This regulation is relevant for municipalities and regional districts.

  2. Process: Registering under MWR involves a more comprehensive process, often necessitating the submission of detailed reports and assessments. Provincial oversight ensures alignment with broader environmental goals.

  3. Regulatory Oversight: The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy takes the lead in MWR registration. Their focus extends beyond local considerations to encompass the broader environmental impact of wastewater discharges.

  4. Environmental Responsibility: MWR places a strong emphasis on environmental responsibility, aiming to protect British Columbia’s water resources and ecosystems.


Choosing the Right Path

When deciding between SSR and MWR for wastewater discharge registration, several factors come into play. Consider the size and impact of your wastewater system, as well as your environmental responsibilities. Smaller, localized systems may find SSR more suitable due to its local focus and flexibility. Conversely, larger systems with potential environmental consequences may lean toward MWR for its comprehensive provincial oversight.

MSR Solutions is here to assist you in understanding and navigating these regulatory pathways. Our team of experts can provide guidance, conduct assessments, and ensure your wastewater management plan aligns with the applicable regulations, whether SSR or MWR.

If you’re unsure which path to take or need assistance with wastewater management, reach out to MSR Solutions today. We’re committed to helping you meet regulatory requirements while efficiently managing your wastewater, safeguarding the environment, and ensuring a sustainable future for British Columbia.

Septic System Savvy: Maintaining Your Onsite Wastewater Treatment Unit

Septic System Savvy: Maintaining Your Onsite Wastewater Treatment Unit

Did you know, homeowners are responsible for maintaining and operating their onsite wastewater systems? This includes keeping comprehensive maintenance records.

Maintenance Frequency: Maintenance frequency depends on the type of system: every 5 years for gravity dispersal Type 1 systems, every 2 years for pressure dispersal Type 1 systems, and annually for all other systems, including Type 2 and Type 3 systems.

Typical Maintenance Activities: Maintenance activities include checking the tank’s structural integrity, sludge and scum levels, and assessing filters and components’ condition.

A well-maintained septic system can last up to 40 years, while neglected ones often malfunction within 15 years. To ensure the longevity of your system and prevent costly issues, it’s crucial to follow these maintenance guidelines and, when in doubt, consult with a professional like MSR Solutions.

Remember, your septic system plays a significant role in your home’s functionality and the environment’s well-being. By giving it the care it deserves, you’re not only protecting your investment but also contributing to a cleaner, safer future.


Exploring East Kootenays: MSR Solutions’ Recent Site Visits

Exploring East Kootenays: MSR Solutions’ Recent Site Visits

MSR Solutions is thrilled to share the success of our recent site visits to project locations across the stunning East Kootenay region of British Columbia.

Our site visits encompassed a comprehensive assessment of existing wastewater treatment and disposal systems. Ensuring the functionality and compliance of these systems with rigorous environmental standards is crucial.

In addition to evaluating established infrastructure, we had the privilege of inspecting a newly constructed wastewater treatment system.

While our roots are firmly planted on Vancouver Island, MSR Solutions has always aimed to provide essential water and wastewater services to communities across British Columbia. Our recent journey to the East Kootenays is a testament to this commitment. Clean water and efficient wastewater management are fundamental rights, and we’re proud to play our part, no matter where we’re needed.

In the coming months and years, we eagerly anticipate further opportunities to serve diverse communities throughout British Columbia. Our guiding principles of engineering excellence and environmental stewardship will continue to drive us forward.

For inquiries or to discover more about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

MSR Celebrates Another Successful Commissioning of Membrane Bioreactor Plant

MSR Celebrates Another Successful Commissioning of Membrane Bioreactor Plant

MSR Solutions is proud to announce the successful commissioning of their latest Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) plant on the Vancouver Island. This achievement marks another significant milestone for MSR as they continue to revolutionize the field of small- to medium-sized wastewater treatment applications.

The newly commissioned MBR plant comprises two state-of-the-art MBR treatment trains, which have been meticulously designed to meet the specific needs of the site. This innovative system will serve approximately 60 mobile home and RV units, ensuring efficient and effective wastewater treatment for the premises.


MBR technology is a cutting-edge approach that combines biological treatment processes with advanced membrane filtration. It offers superior performance compared to conventional wastewater treatment methods by producing higher-quality effluent and achieving a smaller environmental footprint. MSR has been at the forefront of developing and implementing MBR solutions for small- to medium-sized wastewater treatment applications.

MSR’s dedication to innovation and their ability to deliver customized solutions have established them as a trusted leader in the wastewater treatment industry on Vancouver Island. The company’s MBR plants are reliable, efficienct, and robust, making them a preferred choice for numerous clients.

If you are interested in learning more about MSR’s advanced biological wastewater treatment solutions or wish to explore how their MBR technology can benefit your specific requirements, please contact their expert team. They will be delighted to provide you with detailed information and assist you in finding the most suitable solution for your needs.

MSR’s Successful Commission of an MBBR System

MSR’s Successful Commission of an MBBR System

​MSR recently successfully commissioned a moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) system for a recycling facility on Vancouver Island!

Due to high variability in the types and quantities of materials received by recycling facilities, the leachate from these sites can be challenging to treat. For example, the leachate on this site regularly contained high quantities of metals and organics, and other contaminants which varied between sampling events.

The ultimate MBBR system will treat leachate from the site to a quality where it can be discharged into the local Municipal wastewater system for further treatment.

The MBBR media was visible through the side of the fiberglass reactor. The movement of the media is mesmerizing, and we’ve called it ‘Dance of the Media’.

MSR’s Latest Wastewater Treatment Initiatives

MSR’s Latest Wastewater Treatment Initiatives

Highly treated effluent as a beneficial discharge to wetlands | Registration Submitted

MSR Solutions has been busy as of late with the submission of Registration documents to the Ministry of Environment for discharge of highly treated effluent as a beneficial discharge to wetlands.  This method of discharge to the receiving environment falls under the beneficial water use aspects of the Municipal Wastewater Regulations (MWR) for discharges over 22,700 Litres/day.  This first registration is soon to be followed by a larger application which will see beneficial reuse to wetlands, as well as irrigation for food production and landscaping; reuse for toilet flushing; and for additional fire flow.  An added benefit is both the reduction in water demands from domestic water needs and surface water licenses, as well as using the water twice prior to returning it highly treated to provide environmental flows to the environment.  This requires a high quality secondary disinfected effluent, referred to as Class A effluent under the MWR, and will be partly achieved through the use of membrane technology, to which we have been designing into our treatment systems for over 20 years.

Small Water System Review | Qathet Regional District

MSR Solutions was recently awarded a project by the qathet Regional District to review a small water system in need of improvements and understanding of anticipated costs over the next 5-10 years.  The results of the report were well received and have been beneficial in understanding the unique needs of a small water system in a remote area.  As a result of the report, the qRD submitted a request for grant funding, which also required a water conservation plan.  MSR was retained to provide this on very short notice and with the support of staff to put in additional effort, we were able to deliver a strategy in support of water conservation which addressed the needs for this water system and provided the qRD with a road map for other small utilities. 


Replacement of aging water infrastructure | Duncan Strata

MSR Solutions has been retained by a strata in Duncan to support the replacement of their aging water infrastructure.  The first step is working in coordination with Coast Geotechnical and Skyline Structural Engineering to determine soil conditions and structural requirements for a new bolted steel tank reservoir.  The site has a steep slope near the site of the reservoir we need to maintain soil stability and slope setbacks as well as find creative and cost-effective solutions.