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NF Septic Re-Inspection Program Keeping our lake healthy

Please see attached information regarding the North Frontenac Septic Re-Inspection Program for your information. This is good information for all cottagers, whether you want to participate in the septic inspection program or simply want tips for keeping your sewage disposal system (septic) healthy.

Should you be interested in participating or if you require further information please contact Eric Kohlsmith, Re-inspection Program Coordinator at (613)253-0006 ext. 256 or


About the Program                                                   March 2017

The objective of the Sewage System Re-Inspection Program is to aid in keeping our lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater pollution free.  Systems that are improperly maintained, older or outdated or malfunctioning may have a negative impact on the environment, lakes and groundwater.  The Council of North Frontenac is committed to the preservation of the environment and natural resources in the area and has initiated the implementation of this program to continue into 2017 and for years to come.  The program was first initiated in 2005 and has had a great response from full time residents and cottage owners with accepting the offer to have their septic systems voluntarily inspected.

The program will commence in May 2017 and will be conducted by the Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office from May until late August.  They will collect information on existing systems and properties and look for visual signs that may indicate that a system may need attention. Historically, many systems are found to have no issues at the time of inspection (35% -45%), while others require routine maintenance or work that can be completed without a permit. Only a very small percentage of systems require replacement (2-3%).

The Program will entail:

  • The selection of properties which comes with the aid of existing mapping, County GIS and information from our Lake Associations.
  • A letter is sent to the property owner informing them of the re-inspection program and what their participation would entail, a description of the inspection to take place and a two sided questionnaire to be completed by the homeowner and return the Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office.
  • Permission is considered granted by receipt of a completed questionnaire; if explicit permission has not been granted, then no inspection of the property will be conducted.
  • We encourage property owners to participate; if property owners choose not to participate we ask that the office is contacted so that the information can be recorded
  • Our goal is to get enough responses to inspect up to 100 properties from May to August.
  • Please refer to the “Voluntary Sewage System Re-Inspection Program Procedure” below for distinct details.

Tips for Keeping Your Sewage Disposal System (Septic) Healthy

  • Avoid planting vegetation or plants that have a deep root system on the leaching bed;
  • Ensure that trees are at least 10 feet (3m) away from the runs in the tile bed;
  • Pump the septic tank every 3 to 5 years depending on how often the system is used;
  • Do not use a sink garburator;
  • Do not connect water softener backwash to the septic system;
  • Ensure that materials such as Kleenex, sanitary tissues/napkins, grease, oil, solvents, paints, food waste, excessive laundry soaps etc. do not enter the system;
  • Follow the Ontario Building Code requirements for privy's, leach pits, holding tanks, septic tanks/tile beds;
  • Drilled wells must be a minimum of 50 feet (15 m) from the sewage system and dug wells must be at least 100 feet (30 m) away;
  • Don't park vehicles, trailers, equipment, etc. or drive on the tile bed.

Voluntary Sewage System Re-Inspection

Program Procedure

Classes of Sewage Systems:Class 1-Earth Pit Privy, Composting Toilet…Class 2-Greywater PitClass 3-Cesspool- Waste from a Class 1Class 4-Septic Tank & Leaching FieldClass 5-Holding Tank




  1. The first step in your participation is completing and returning the questionnaire. Please fill in, sign, and return the questionnaire by fax, email or mail as soon as possible to the number or address provided. Do not feel as though the form must be fully completed to return it to us, every bit of information is useful.  The intention of the Questionnaire is to provide our office with basic information regarding your septic system and its location on your property. Unfortunately the township does not have this information for every property.
  1. Appointments are not required but can be made between 8 am – 4 pm on a first come, first served basis, by contacting the MRSSO. If an appointment is not arranged, the MRSSO will schedule the re-inspection and notify you one week in advance.
  2. The MRSSO requests that both septic tank lids are exposed for the re-inspection (most tanks have 2). There will be a 40$ (20$/lid) maximum charge for the MRSSO to assist in locating and excavating the septic tank lids. This fee will be invoiced upon completion of the re-inspection. No cost will be incurred if excavation is not required. The MRSSO will re-cover the tank when the inspection is completed at no cost, unless it is determined that a pump-out is required.
  1. The septic re-inspection will include the following items:
  • Determining location of all systems             
  • Measurement of separation distances to key lot features         
  • Visual inspection of tank structure
  • Measurement of tank contents                    
  • Visual inspection of bed
  • Briefing the homeowner on proper system maintenance and operation.
  1. A copy of the septic re-inspection report will be left on-site with an invoice for tank excavation, if required.

The primary role of the MRSSO, as the administrators of the re-inspection program, is to educate property owners about their onsite waste treatment system and any deficiencies with it. Our secondary role is to ensure that unsafe systems are repaired to meet the requirements of Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code. As the property owner you can expect the re-inspection, communication of results, and all inquiries to be dealt with in a professional manner.

Thank you in advance for your co-operation. We know you share the Township’s desire to protect our water resources and ultimately the value of waterfront property around the lakes within the watersheds. Your participation in this program will assist in providing continued enjoyment of a clean, healthy waterfront environment for generations to come.

Yours Truly,

Eric Kohlsmith | Re-inspection Program Coordinator | 613-253-0006 ext.256 |

**Please note: If you are interested in an inspection or have any questions or concerns with the Septic Re-Inspection program, please contact Eric Kohlsmith (MVCA) directly. **


While the article notes only 2-3% required a new septic in the past as part of the septic inspection program, I knew that I needed mine replaced without needing an inspection and had it replaced two summers ago.  Should you want to know how my experience went, and what to understand before starting, you can always call me at 647-919-5775.  I would be happy to share what I learned...Sincerely, Fran Bates