Septic Permit

​On-Site Sewage Systems are regulated by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent under the Ontario Building Code Act. The Municipality issues permits and inspects all sewage systems with a daily design flow of less than 10,000 litres per day.

Septic Permit Requirements

A septic permit is required for new construction, existing system tank replacement and when lines are added or lengthened.

It is a requirement that on-site sewage systems be designed and installed by licensed professionals qualified by the Ministry of Municipal Housing & Affairs. You may install and repair your own septic system, though you will still require a permit and inspection from the Building Department. 

Submit your completed worksheet, your signed and completed application and your site plan (details below), to Please note, the largest we are able to print is 11" x 17" paper size. Larger drawings will need to be dropped off at Chatham Civic Centre or mailed.

For questions or more information regarding Septic Permits, please call 519-352-8401 x 3215, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 am.


Use the following as a guide when preparing your drawings for a septic permit application.

Site Plan

The site plan should contain the following:

  • The proposed septic location and dimensions
  • The location of all existing or proposed buildings on the lot including swimming pools
  • Access routes - roads, driveways, etc.
  • The setbacks to lot lines and waterways
  • Location of well

Code Requirements

The following are general code requirements for the design of an onsite sewage system:

  • 3 meters (10 feet) from property lines
  • tank to be a minimum of 1.5 meters (6 feet) from buildings
  • the bed area to be a minimum of 5 meters (17 feet) from buildings
  • bed area to be a minimum of 15 meters (50 feet) from a drilled well or a minimum of 30 meters (100 feet) from a dug well

The Sewage System Design Worksheet

Be sure to provide:

  • Total number of Fixture Units
  • Building Area
  • Number of Bedrooms
  • Daily Design Sanitary Sewage Flow (Q)
  • Septic Tank Size
  • Soil Type
  • Percolation Rate (T time)
  • Total Distribution Pipe Length

How will I know if I have a problem with my septic system?

There are signs you may have a problem with an onsite system. Warning signs of a failing septic system include:

  • Test results of well water show the presence of bacteria
  • The ground in the area is wet or soggy
  • Grass grows greener or faster in the area
  • Sewage odours in the house or yard
  • Plumbing backups into the house
  • Slowly draining sinks and toilets
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing