Picture of septic tank surrounded by dirtThe Municipality issues permits and inspects all sewage systems with a daily design flow of less than 10,000 litres per day.

What is a septic system?

A septic system accepts all the wastewater from toilets, sinks, showers, washing machine, dishwasher, etc., treats the waste water to a safe level and returns the treated water to the ground. The most common type of system is a septic tank and leaching bed.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your system is in good repair and working properly.

When is a Septic Permit Required?

In accordance with the Ontario Building Code, a septic permit is required for new construction; replacement of existing system, tank replacement and when the lines of the septic bed 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, however, although you will still require a permit and inspections from the Building Department. 

For further information, or to obtain a copy of the Septic Permit Application Worksheet, please contact Building Development Services.

Code Requirements

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

  • 3 meters from property lines

  • tank to be a minimum 1.5 meters from buildings

  • the bed area to be a minimum 5 meters from buildings

  • bed area to be a minimum 15 meters from a drilled well or a minimum 30 meters from a dug well

How Will I Know if I Have a Problem with My Septic System?

A faulty or poorly designed septic systems can be harmful to the natural environment and can threaten public health by contaminating our local ground water. There are signs in advance that there may be a problem with an onsite system. Homeowners should be alert to the warning signs of a failing septic system.

These include:

  • 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

  • Test results of well water show the presence of bacteria

If you notice a problem with your system, it is important that you act immediately. Septic system maintenance doesn't require a lot of skill or work, but it does require a basic understanding of how the system works and what you need to do to keep it functioning a peak performance. If you need any information about the performance of your septic system, it is recommended that you reach out to an onsite sewage system professional.