Septic Maintenance Inspection Program

Program Implementation

Council of the Municipality of Highlands East is committed to the preservation of the environment and natural resources of the area.

In the spring of 2017, Council implemented a septic system maintenance inspection program. The objective of the program is to aid in keeping our lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater pollution free. Septic systems that are improperly maintained, outdated or malfunctioning may have a negative impact on the groundwater, the surrounding water bodies and the environment. Systems on waterfront properties are first priority but all systems in the Municipality will be inspected.

What is a Septic Maintenance Inspection Program?

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.

The program includes a visual inspection of the property with respect to:

  • Type and number of buildings on the property
  • Type of system being used i.e.: 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 is 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.

Program Progress

The program has been in place since the spring of 2017. Many systems have already been inspected but there is still much to do. If interested in the program's progress please contact the Building Department for more information by emailing us or by calling us at 705-447-0051 x442.