Provincially Mandated Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program
On January 1, 2011, the Ontario Building Code (Building Code) was amended to establish and govern mandatory sewage (septic) system maintenance inspection programs in certain areas of Ontario. The Building Code amendments help protect our drinking water and the environment and support the implementation of the Clean Water Act and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. A guide to operating and maintaining your septic system prepared by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is included to help you understand how a sewage system works.
As a result of these amendments, a Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program has been implemented within certain geographic areas of the Township. This program is intended to minimize the potential of existing sewage systems contaminating ground and surface waters.
This letter outlines the program and answers some questions that you may have. Please contact the Building Division if you have any questions. Contact information is found below.
In an effort to help safeguard a clean and safe drinking water supply and the continued health of Lake Simcoe, the Township of King requests your cooperation with this maintenance inspection program.
Which areas of the Township does the Maintenance Inspection Program apply?
The Building Code defines as being all sewage systems completely or partly within 100 metres of:
- the Lake Simcoe shoreline;
- any river or stream in the Lake Simcoe watershed that continually flows in an average year; any lake or pond in the Lake Simcoe watershed that is connected on the surface to a river or stream described in (a);
- any other lake or pond in the Lake Simcoe watershed that has a surface area greater than 8 hectares; and
- proximity to Vulnerable Areas within Source Protection Area.
If you receive a letter, the Township has identified that your property is in the regulated area and your sewage system is subject to the Maintenance Inspection Program.
Your sewage system will be subject to re-inspection under the Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program every 5 years as set out in the Ontario Building Code.
Sewage system owners may wish to fix known deficiencies to faulty sewage systems. Prior to carrying out any repairs, you may need a building permit. Permits may not be required if repairs are considered minor. Please call the Building Department prior to carrying out any work. If a permit is required and you do proceed without a permit, you will be required to uncover any work that was not inspected. Additional service fees apply for work that commences without a permit.
The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) also regulates sewage systems through a permit process. Please call the LSRCA at the number listed below prior to commencing any work. You may also want to contact the LSRCA to inquire about eligibility requirements for funding assistance for aged or faulty sewage systems as financial assistance may be available through the Landowner Environmental Assistance Program (LEAP).
Important points to remember for funding:
- Projects must be pre-approved for funding assistance prior to commencing work. Funding is not applied retroactively.
- Fees associated with the septic tank pump-out, contractor inspection services, and Township inspection services are not eligible for funding assistance.
- Funding applications are ineligible where the Township has issued an Order for a faulty sewage system.
What is involved?
A visual inspection of the sewage system location by an Inspector from the Township is conducted.
- The Township Inspector will be visiting your property to carry out a visual inspection only. The Program is effective immediately so an inspection may occur at any time during regular business hours. You may contact the Building Department if you wish to schedule an inspection, however, depending on timing and availability; an Inspector may inspect even if you have not scheduled an appointment.
- The Inspector may require information from you about your last septic tank pump-out or other maintenance inspections if you have a tertiary treatment system.
- During the inspection and where deemed pertinent, the following information will be recorded by the Inspector for Township records:
- with respect to the septic tank and leaching bed, the location of structures, buildings, wells, vegetation and any open water,
- any signs of malfunction or failure of the sewage system, and
- any signs of risk of malfunction or failure of the sewage system.
- If the Inspector observes sewage system malfunction or failure, an Inspector may issue an Order to the property owner outlining the next steps. You may be required to obtain a building permit and carry out remedial work to correct deficiencies or unsafe conditions. All permit fees and installation expenses will be the responsibility of the property owner.
- The Inspector will provide a written report on the results of the inspection, update your property records and mark your records for your sewage system to be re-inspected within 5 years of the passed inspection.
As mentioned above the Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program will operate requiring the inspection of your sewage system to take place on a five year inspection cycle, in conformity with mandatory Provincial legislation. A fee will be assessed for the inspection program and added to the municipal taxes once the inspection has been completed. The costs involved with conducting historical research, site inspections, reports and file management will amount to $150 ($30 per year) per property affected per inspection cycle.
Property owners may opt to engage the services of a private certified inspection service (licenced sewage system contractor) to provide an inspection certificate as to the condition of the sewage system. This is referred to as a "third party certificate". The Township fee if this method is selected is $100 per five year inspection cycle. If you intend to employ a third party inspector please notify the Building Division by to avoid overlap inspections.
Peter Lavrench, CET, CBCO
Chief Building Official
For Additional Information