Community Onsite Septic Inspection Program
On September 6th 2022 Council directed Staff to proceed with investigating the implementation of a Septic Maintenance and Inspection Program.
Council of the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh is committed to the preservation of the environment and natural resources of the area.
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 Septic systems that are improperly maintained, outdated or malfunctioning may have a negative impact on the groundwater, the surrounding water bodies and the environment.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 Township will be inspected.
What is a Septic Maintenance Inspection Program?
Most properties within the Township function with private on-site systems which are regulated through the Ontario Building Code (OBC) which is enforced by the Township. It is through Part 8 of the OBC that the Township 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 will be 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
After receiving direction on September 6, 2022 to investigate the implementation of a Septic Maintenance and Inspection Program, Township Staff began working at researching the implementation and execution of the program. Staff met with neighboring Municipalities who currently run a Community Septic Inspection Program and attended on-site inspections. Staff also met with an engineer firm to discuss the program in which they facilitate and operate for a neighbouring municipality.
At the February 7, 2023 Regular Council Meeting Council proceeded with the initiation of a Township administered sewage system maintenance and inspection program and that the estimated cost of $130,000 for the initial setup be brought back for approval in the 2023 Budget. This amount was subsequently approved at the 2023 Budget meeting.
At the March 20, 2023 Regular Council Meeting Council supported the continued development of a sewage system maintenance and inspection program. With the approval of the budget, staff began taking the first steps in the initiation of a sewage system maintenance and inspection program. This included:
1. Development of a public engagement strategy
2. Establishing the logistics of operating the program
3. Development of the software to operate the program
At the May 16, 2023 Regular Council Meeting Council supported the launching of the Sewage System Maintenance and Inspection Program by the end of June 2023.