When functioning correctly, your septic system is a safe and reliable way of treating household waste and wastewater. But just like other parts of your home, septic systems need maintenance, repair and eventual replacement. Failing or improperly maintained septic systems can:

  • Contaminate your water supply and that of your neighbours
  • Decrease your property value
  • Cause expensive repairs

How to identify septic failure

Signs that your septic system may be failing include:

  • A bad smell
  • An unpleasant-looking liquid in the leaching bed
  • Spongy spots and sewage on or near the leaching bed
  • Slow moving or backed-up drains in your home
  • More lush vegetation over the septic bed
  • Broken or disconnected pipes

Not all warning signs are visible above ground – an inspection of the tank is necessary to be certain.

Caring for your septic system

Caring for your septic system takes three steps.

Step 1: Pump regularly

Get your septic system pumped every 3 to 5 years.

Step 2: Inspect often

Regular inspections every three years helps prevent problems. Keep accurate records of your septic maintenance and get your effluent filter checked and cleaned every year.

Step 3: Pour and flush responsibly

Don't pour down the drain or flush cooking oils, food waste, hazardous chemicals, and harsh cleaning products.

Septic re-inspection program

Through our septic re-inspection program, Township building inspectors visit properties to look for evidence of a failing septic system. We'll notify you by letter before we visit your property for a non-invasive site inspection. If any failure is found at the time of inspection, the property owner will be given an Order to Comply. Email Caely Nicholson or call 705-538-2337 x241 for details.

Septic permits

Learn about septic permits and fees on our building permits page.

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