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Federal controls on industrial liquid effluents in Canada are developed through consultative government-industry task forces. These controls are technology based (the best practicable technology) and include chemical parameters and a toxicity (acute lethality) limit.
The toxicity test provides a means of integrating the combined effects of a multitude of chemical constituents, a practical, yet indicated alternative to comprehensive (exhaustive) chemical analyses on the increasingly complex effluents. A simple 96-h mortality bioassay using rainbow trout is presented that is typical of those appearing in Canadian regulations. This, in combination with analysis of a few selected chemical parameters, offers an efficient and effective means of regulating effluent quality at the source.
There is a need for standardized sublethal, rapid-response tests to facilitate greater efficiencies in both routine monitoring and wastewater characterization.
aquatic toxicology, toxicity testing, toxicity regulations, industrial effluents, bioassay method
Director, Marine Environment Protection Branch, Environmental Protection Service, Atlantic Region, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Director, Abatement and Compliance Branch, Water Pollution Control Directorate, Environmental Protection Service, Ottawa, Ontario