Septic Inspections

Updated March 2024

Dysart Septic Re-Inspection Update (Updated April 2024)

The municipality of Dysart et al implemented a mandatory Septic System Inspection program for waterfront properties in 2018.  The municipality was divided into 5 areas and an initial 5-year reinspection program cycle was planned. The Kennisis Lakes are designated as Area 1 and were the first to be inspected under the program.  The inspections for the Kennisis Lakes were mostly implemented as Type 4 inspections with lids off and a pump-out required.  The program was later moved by Dysart to a Type 3 inspection (no pump-out concurrent with the inspection) which has the potential for missing damaged or malfunctioning septic systems. 

The Dysart summary report (JAN 2021) for Area 1, the Kennisis Lakes can be found here

A KLCOA analysis of the Kennisis Lakes Area 1 report can be found here.

Dysart is far behind the expected 5-year program cycle and have not yet indicated when the program will return to Area 1, Kennisis Lakes.  The KLCOA is monitoring Dysart’s program and will report back to members before the Septic Inspection returns Area 1. 

Dysart 2024 Septic Reinspection Bylaw 

Dysart et al has transitioned to a Septic Inspection program managed and completed by Dysart staff, although third party certified inspectors can be used for the inspection.

An updated Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program bylaw was passed by Dysart Council in March 2024.

The bylaw includes guidance for the septic inspections and includes fees for the inspections as well as fees for return of missed inspections. 

A copy of the by Dysart Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program bylaw (2024-24) can be found here.

FOCA Septic Inspection Report Released 

The 2019 FOCA sponsored report on re-inspection programs across Ontario reported the following:

  • Voluntary programs do not work
  • Many communities have mandatory programs in place
  • Lake associations have been a primary driver
  • No “perfect” inspection approach identified
  • Education is a key component and helps extend septic life
  • Evaluated thousands of systems over many years

Most failed inspections were due to:

  • Overuse
  • Improper maintenance
  • Driving vehicles over the distribution bed
  • Planting trees over the leaching bed (root damage)
  • Hooking up a water softener to the septic system
  • Age and/or improper installation

The FOCA report concluded that overload/leaking of sewage is a significant problem:

“A septic system is designed to treat a set volume of wastewater. Every time water goes down the drain into your septic tank, the same amount of liquid leaves the tank and enters the leaching bed. If too much wastewater enters the tank—from extra guests, heavy water use—too much waste is forced out, too soon. Unsettled wastewater can leave the tank too quickly, including solids that can enter the leaching bed and clog up pipes.”

An INFOGRAPHIC summary of the FOCA Septic Inspection report can be found here

The full FOCA report can be found here on the FOCA website.

Related Content:

For a wealth of other information about septic systems please check out the following links:

Septic System Tips

Septic System Health

Septic System Education