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.

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

Herlihey Park Final Master Plan

Posted to Downloads, News & Notices on Mar 29, 2019

The Final Master Plan for Herlihey Park as presented at the March 26, 2019 public meeting is available for download below.

Download File

Ontario Invests in Small and Rural Municipalities to Improve Service Delivery and Efficiency

Posted to News & Notices on Mar 20, 2019

Today, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced a one-time investment for many of Ontario's small and rural municipalities.

Highlands East will be receiving a one-time payment intended to help modernize service delivery and reduce future costs through investments in projects such as: service delivery reviews, development of shared services agreements, and capital investments.

To read more visit: https://news.ontario.ca/mma/en/2019/03/ontario-invests-in-small-and-rural-municipalities-to-improve-service-delivery-and-efficiency.html