Your Septic System Health: Dos, Don'ts & Maintenance Tips

Posted to Environmental, Services on Jun 21, 2019

What you put into your septic system greatly affects its ability to function and perform its job as intended. A septic tank and system contains living organisms that breakdown, digest and treat sewage waste. These systems are not designed to treat any garbage or waste other than sewage waste and any solids that shouldn’t enter the tank will simply build up and eventually need to be pumped or removed. The more solids that go in will increase the frequency that the tank needs to be pumped and, can cause damage to the tile field. Tile field failure will cause the complete system to stop functioning.

Educating all members of the household in the operation and care of the system and what should and shouldn’t be put into the system can save a lot of problems and money while prolonging the life of your system. This also protects the health of your property and the surrounding environment.

Septic Installation

If you are planning an addition to your dwelling that involves 15% or more floor area, an increase in the number of bedrooms or, an increase in the number of plumbing fixtures you may need to enlarge or even replace your existing system;

Do

  • Contact your local Municipal Building Department regarding any planned expansion or build,
  • Use a professional licensed contractor or designer.

Don't

  • Expand the size of your residence, add a suite or apartment, or a business such as a Bed & Breakfast or daycare without having your existing system checked,
  • Attempt to repair or install your system without the assistance of a qualified contractor,
  • Make or allow repairs to your system without the proper permits in place.

Septic Waste

Do

  • Dispose of solids appropriately. Only flush sewage wastewater and toilet paper,
  • Dispose of chemicals etc. at approved waste sites,
  • Dispose of grease with regular garbage or compost if applicable,
  • Try to avoid use of household bleach and disinfectants,
  • Return leftover medications to your pharmacy.

Don't 

  • Put cigarette butts, paper towels, tissues, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers etc. into a septic tank,
  • Put food scraps, coffee grounds, and other food items down the drain.
  • Put solvents, oils, or any other chemical into the system. These will poison the system and cause the breakdown of solids to stop, damage the tank and tile field,
  • Put cooking grease down the drain. This can solidify and plug pipes and tile field,
  • Allow water softener backwash drains to be connected to the system.

Tile Bed or Drainfield

Do

  • Watch for settlement on or around the tile field that would allow water to drain on to or pond,
  • Keep the area grassed to avoid erosion and promote evaporation in the bed area,
  • Keep the area protected to prevent vehicles or any kind from travelling over the bed,
  • Keep shrubs and trees a minimum of 3 meters away from the edge of the bed.

Don't

  • Allow vehicles (cars, trailers, snowmobiles etc.) to go over the tile bed,
  • Plant any shrubs, trees or vegetation on the bed whose roots will plug the tile,
  • Alter drainage that will permit water to flow onto the bed area,
  • Build any structures on the bed area. Any building is to be minimum 5 meters away from edge of bed,
  • Install automatic lawn sprinklers in the area.

System Maintenance

Do

  • Learn the location of your septic tank and tile field,
  • If equipped, inspect and clean the effluent filter located at the outlet of the tank annually as a minimum,
  • Keep the tank access lids accessible for pumping, inspection, maintenance etc.,
  • Have your septic tank pumped every 3 to 5 years or as required by an approved contractor,
  • Have your system inspected annually,
  • If equipped, have the sewage ejector pump or effluent pump inspected and maintenance performed annually or as necessary,
  • Call a licensed contractor or professional if you experience problems or require repairs,
  • Keep a record of your system permit, repairs, pumping, inspections and other maintenance activities.

Don't

  • Ignore the system (out of sight, out of mind) and assume that it is working properly. For example, a cracked or leaking tank may not show up in the operation of the plumbing system of your home but, can cause environmental damage and contamination of surface or ground waters.

Notice regarding New Swimming Lesson Dates

Posted to News & Notices on Jun 21, 2019

The Municipality of Highlands East regrets to inform the public that due to staffing issues, the swimming lessons at Wilbermere Beach and Gooderham (Pine Lake) Beach have been rescheduled for later dates as follows:

Wilbermere Beach, New Swimming Lesson Dates
Session #1 – July 30th – August 9th (Morning)
Session #2 – August 12th – August 23rd (Morning)

There will be NO rescheduling of the evening dates for swimming lessons taking place at Wilbermere Beach. Those evening lessons have been cancelled.

Gooderham (Pine Lake) Beach, New Swimming Lesson Dates
Session #1 – July 30th – August 9th (Afternoon)
Session #2 – August 12th – August 23rd (Afternoon)

If there are any questions or concerns please contact the Main Office in Wilberforce Monday to Friday between 9AM and 4:30PM or call us at 705-448-2981.

10 Ways to Improve Recycling in Highlands East

Posted to Environmental, Services on Jun 21, 2019

As you know, the Blue Box recycling program has been in effect in the Municipality of Highlands East for many years. But did you know that Recycling is mandatory for municipalities and is becoming more expensive every year to administer? In 2018 Highlands East paid $80,000 to haul and process 430 tonnes of recycled materials that is generated by our residents and businesses. Each municipality must develop its own waste management and recycling program and must be in compliance with the Environmental Protection Act.

There have been many recent media articles and broadcasts regarding recycling markets becoming less and less profitable which may cause some materials to no longer be accepted as part of our recycling program in the very near future. We all need to be mindful of these developments and attempt to change our purchasing habits to reduce our overall impact on our environment.

The residents of Highlands East are committed to the recycling program, but there are many things that can be done to ensure our program is successful.

Recycling Tips

  1. Take some time to review what is recyclable in Highlands East. It might not be the same in other municipalities. There is a downloadable recycling guide on the municipal website that will help you understand what is, and isn’t, recyclable. 
  2. Make sure you only place acceptable items in your recycling. Otherwise the entire contents can become contaminated and will be rejected by the recycling processor. Posting the Recycling Guide where you store your recyclable materials may help remind you about what should go into each container.
  3. Rinse bottles, jars and other containers. If they are not clean they may contaminate other material that is deposited into blue box for recycling.
  4. Try to buy items with minimal packaging.
  5. Try to use reusable containers/bags when shopping.
  6. Try to choose retailers that reduce packaging.
  7. Use refillable containers for drinks. Plastic bottles and paper cups are a large portion of recycling materials and are getting more difficult to process and sell in the recycling market today.
  8. Share magazines and newspapers with friends.
  9. Consider taking a plastic bag when you go for a walk to pick up garbage and recyclables.
  10. Choose to compost to lessen the impact on the landfill. The added bonus is the composted material goes back in your garden.

The Municipality has invested in the establishment of a new Waste Info App to be added to the website in the near future and this resource should be able to address any questions/concerns you may have regarding recycle and waste programs at our landfills.

There's something for everyone at the Wilberforce Agricultural Fair!

Posted to Events on Jun 1, 2019

Gates open at 6PM on Friday, August 9th and at 9AM on Saturday, August 10th. Admission on Friday night is FREE compliments of our sponsors Wilberforce Guardian Pharmacy and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 624. Adult admission on Saturday is $7 for adults and children under 16 get in for FREE. For a complete schedule and more details visit WilberforceFair.com or visit the Facebook page.

Join us for an authentic country fair. Friday night events include children’s dog show, Lions Club food booth and pony pull. Saturday morning we kick off with a tractor parade at 10AM into the Fair grounds. Come with an appetite as the Lions Club will have their breakfast food booth open. The days events include horse drawn wagon rides, sheep shearing, pedal tractor pull, Gord Kidd and Friends on stage, pony rides, horse draw, petting zoo, frog show, nail driving competition, penny raffle, bouncy castles, and much more.

Get your Questions Answered at the Highlands East Visitor Information Centre mid-May through Thanksgiving

Posted to Activities, Administrative, Events, News & Notices, Services on May 22, 2019

The Highland East Vistor Information Centre is located at 2786 Essonville Line in Wilberforce (at the Curling Club) and is open daily, mid-May through Thanksgiving from 10:00AM through 4:00PM (closed Tuesdays) and offers mineral permission to collect forms and directions, geocaching information and GPS rentals, trails, events and other general area information.

Contact the Info Centre at 705-448-2981 Ext. 432 or email jvanier [at] highlandseast [dot] ca.

 

During the off-season please call Joanne Vanier, Community Economic Development & Committee Coordinator at 705-448-2981 Ext. 433 or Tracy Millar, Receptionist at 705-448-2981 Ext. 421 or by email at info [at] highlandseast [dot] ca

Private Road Grant Program and Application Form

Posted to Applications, Downloads, Roads, Services on May 16, 2019

The Municipality of Highlands East has established a grant program for the improvement of private roads. The By-Law, Policy and Application form is available for download below.

Download File

Emergency Preparedness Week 2019: Are You Ready?

Posted to Fire Rescue, News & Notices, Services on May 8, 2019
Emergencies can happen anytime. Are you ready?

2019 Emergency Preparedness Week's theme is “Are You Ready?” and focuses on the importance of individuals and families being prepared for emergencies before they happen. Download the Emergency Preparedness Pocket Guide which features updated information on how you and your family can prepare for an emergency and follow the links below for additional specialized preparedness guides:

Download File

Asset Management Plan

Posted to Asset Management Plan, Downloads on Apr 16, 2019

The Municipality of Highlands East has prepared an Asset Management Plan for its core infrastructure services including roads, bridges, water and wastewater. The Plan is intended to provide a comprehensive reference for renewing, operating, maintaining, building, replacing and disposing of the municipality’s core Infrastructure Assets. The plan is based on the guidelines provided in the Province of Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure’s Building Together Guide for Municipal Asset Management Plans. The Plan is based on currently available data and information on the core services of the municipality. The plan is a living document and will require continuous updates and improvements over time with the municipality’s ongoing data collection programs.

Infrastructure investment is an important component of municipal government responsibility. It helps facilitate economic development, promotes quality of life improvement for residents and can even create jobs.

For more information please contact:

Shannon Hunter, CMO, AMCT, Dipl.M.M.
Chief Administrative Officer/Treasurer
shunter [at] highlandseast [dot] ca
705-448-2981 Ext. 431

Download Files

Water Sample Service Schedule & Drop-off Information

Posted to Environmental, News & Notices, Services on Apr 10, 2019

Pick-up & Drop-off Locations

Water sample bottles can be picked up at any Municipal Office in Highlands East.

Filled samples must be dropped off at the Wilberforce Municipal Office for shipment to the testing facility.

Summer Schedule

The bi-weekly summer water sample drop-off schedule will begin the week of April 15th with drop-offs being accepted Mondays and Wednesdays before Noon on each of those days.

Winter Schedule

Drop-offs will revert to our once-weekly winter schedule in October.

Highlands East Strategic Plan

Posted to Downloads, Strategic Plan on Apr 10, 2019