Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program

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The Township of Muskoka Lakes is committed to the protection of the health and integrity of the natural environment and the water quality of its lakes and rivers, which are all part of the Township’s most valuable resources. To ensure that environmental protection meets the highest standards, consideration is being given to updating the Township’s existing Sewage System Maintenance Re-inspection Program and we want your feedback!

Proposed Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Policy

The proposed policy outlines a risk level classification for all properties containing a private on-site sewage disposal system, as well as detailed procedural steps, responsibilities and definitions.

Updated

The Township of Muskoka Lakes is committed to the protection of the health and integrity of the natural environment and the water quality of its lakes and rivers, which are all part of the Township’s most valuable resources. To ensure that environmental protection meets the highest standards, consideration is being given to updating the Township’s existing Sewage System Maintenance Re-inspection Program and we want your feedback!

Proposed Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Policy

The proposed policy outlines a risk level classification for all properties containing a private on-site sewage disposal system, as well as detailed procedural steps, responsibilities and definitions.

Updated Property Standards By-law

Rather than proceed with a Discretionary Septic Re-inspection By-law under the Ontario Building Code, it is recommend that the Township’s Property Standards By-law be amended.

Current Program

The On-Site Sewage Re-Inspection Program was introduced some 20 years ago and has been a seasonal program since its inception. The program aims to first and foremost educate and inform property owners of the importance and requirements of on-site sewage system maintenance and operation. The program is administered by seasonal staff under the supervision of the Sewage Inspector, Deputy Chief Building Official (DCBO) and Chief Building Official (CBO). Each year nearly 500 properties are inspected by seasonal staff and where follow up is required this is either addressed by seasonal staff members or the Sewage Inspector. The program has primarily focused on the smaller lakes with history of water quality concerns (such as Blue Green Algae Blooms) but has included waterfront properties on the larger lakes as well. The current program also allows staff to request sewage system information from a qualified third party, where no records exist for the sewage system. The current program has identified systems with: minor maintenance issues, no records, potential failures, damaged system components, and system failures, and allowed staff to address these issues in a professional manner.

Updated Sewage System Maintenance Re-inspection Program

The updated program is proposed to encompass all properties in the Township of Muskoka Lakes that are serviced by private on-site sewage systems with a daily flow of 10,000L/day or less. While the goal of the program will be to inspect every private sewage system on every property in the Township of Muskoka Lakes, the initial focus of the program will be private sewage systems that are identified in accordance with the policy as being High Risk. Each sewage system will be classified by reviewing available documentation for each property and the type of system installed. The classification will be as per the scale below:

Risk Level
High

Sewage systems:

  • Without any record on file;
  • Utilizing steel tanks;
  • Greater than 30 years old; or,
  • Installed on a property abutting a waterbody where a water quality indicator has been confirmed in accordance with the policies of the Muskoka Official Plan. Lakes currently on this list is available here.
Moderate

Sewage systems:

  • Between 10 and 30 years old; and,
  • Installed on a property abutting a navigable waterbody where a water quality indicator has not been confirmed in accordance with the policies of the Muskoka Official Plan.
Low

Sewage systems:

  • Less than 10 years old; or,
  • Installed on a property not abutting a navigable waterway.


Once the Risk Level has been confirmed, an Inspection Type and Frequency are assigned, as follows:

Risk Level
Type of Inspection
Frequency
HighPhase II
every 5 years
ModeratePhase I
every 15 years
LowNone
None


Phase I Inspections

Where the risk level classification determines that a Phase I Inspection is required, this inspection will be undertaken by Township staff. Property owners will only be notified of the results of a Phase I Inspection if further information or action is required by the property owner.

Phase II Inspections

Where the risk level classification determines that a Phase II Inspection is required, this inspection will be undertaken by the property owner through a qualified Third Party Inspector. Upon completion of the Third-Party Inspection, the Phase II Inspection shall be submitted to the Township. Should the Third-Party Inspector find the system to be in good working order, a Certificate, Discretionary Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program as approved by MMAH shall be provided.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    We look forward to receiving your comments on the review of the Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program. While comments on any aspect are welcomed, a number of survey questions are below to assist the Township in evaluating what changes, if any, are required.

    Please review the content regarding Risk Levels and Types of Inspections prior to answering the survey questions. The survey will close on February 17, 2022.

    Take Survey
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Page last updated: 08 Mar 2022, 12:15 PM