Notice regarding Sewage Disposal System Maintenance Inspection Program

Council of the Municipality of Highlands East is committed to the preservation of the environment and natural resources of the area and is therefore considering the implementation of a sewage system maintenance inspection program commencing in the spring of 2017.  The objective of a program of this nature is to aid in keeping our lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater pollution free. Sewage disposal systems that are improperly maintained, outdated or malfunctioning may have a negative impact on the groundwater, the surrounding water bodies and the environment.

Most properties within the Municipality function with private on-site systems which are regulated through the Ontario Building Code (OBC) which is enforced by the Municipality.  It is through Part 8 of the OBC that the Municipality may initiate an inspection program.  This type of program is normally conducted on a 5 year cycle with all properties within the Municipality with systems older than 5 years being reviewed area-by-area on an annual basis until complete.
To date, Council has not determined the type of program that may be conducted; however the program would likely include a visual inspection of the property with respect to:

  • Type and number of buildings on the property
  • Type of system being used ie: privy, grey water or leaching bed
  • Evidence of sewage effluent ponding, odour or unusually green or thick grass growing on or around the tile bed
  • Surface water or ground water flows toward the sewage system
  • Tree or vegetation growth on the tile bed
  • Location of the septic system

A letter would be sent to the property owner following the inspection indicating the results. If any deficiencies have been found these would be noted in the letter. Further inspections may be required which may include opening and pumping of tanks or excavating the tile bed for inspection.

Tips for keeping your sewage disposal system happy

  • Avoid planting vegetation that has a deep root system on the leaching bed
  • Ensure that trees are at least 3m (10 feet) away from the runs in the tile bed
  • Pump the septic tank every 3 to 5 years depending on how often the system is used
  • Do not use a sink garburator
  • Do not connect water softener backwash to the septic system
  • Ensure that materials such as Kleenex, sanitary products, grease, oil, solvents, paints, food waste or excessive laundry soaps do not enter the system
  • Do not park vehicles, trailers, or other equipment or drive on the tile bed.
  • Do not use anti-bacterial products

Let’s all work together to keep our lakes, rivers and streams healthy and pollution free for our children and grandchildren.  Future generations are counting on us.