Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada




Wastewater, often referred to as sewage, is "used" water. Water that has been used for washing, flushing, or manufacturing processes by homes, business and industries. It is approximately 99% water. The rest is made up of anything that is poured or flushed down drains, such as organic waste, detergents and chemicals.

In many municipalities or communities wastewater is collected through a network of underground pipes and delivered to a centrally operated treatment facility. The treated wastewater, or effluent, is then disinfected and discharged to a body of water.

Generally in rural areas, treatment for individual properties is a home sewage disposal system, often call a septic, or on-site system. These consist of a septic tank for settling and treatment, and a sub-surface disposal field.

Check out this video on an innovative approach to municipal management of on-site systems recently introduced in Richmond County, Nova Scotia.

With the conclusion of the Halifax Harbour Solutions Project (2009) about 50% of the population of Nova Scotia will be connected to central treatment facilities. About 45% of the population relies on on-site sewage disposal systems (septic tanks) and about 5% on raw discharge.