top of page

What is a Septic System?

If you live in a rural area or a small community or if you have a cottage, you most likely have a septic system. Septic systems are onsite treatment units that eliminate the need for municipal sewers in rural areas. Anything that goes down the drain — every shower drip and every toilet flush — flows to the septic system. Septic systems are comprised of a tank, a network of pipes and billions of organisms that process your waste. This tutorial will help you become familiar with how your system works and how to keep it working properly. It is important to know that you are responsible for your septic system and that it is in your best interest to take good care of it — from a health, property value, financial and environmental perspective.


How does it work?

The most common septic system consists of a septic tank and leaching bed — all of which is hidden beneath the soil. All household wastewater exits your home through an underground pipe that leads to the buried septic tank. The waste flows to the first compartment of the tank where the heavy solids settle and the lighter materials (fats, oils and grease) float to the top as scum. Baffles and screens (see illustration below) keep this scum layer from escaping the tank and flowing to the leaching bed. This scum is removed when the tank is pumped during regular maintenance. 

parts of septic system.JPG

Why Should I Maintain My Septic System?

Did you know that septic systems are the responsibility of you the cottage owner? It is up to you to keep your system working properly to protect your environment, your health and your investment. When properly designed, constructed and maintained, a septic system should provide long-term, effective treatment of your household wastewater. If you take good care of your system, you will save yourself the time, money and worries involved in replacing a failed system. Failed systems can be hazardous to your health, the environment and your pocketbook. It can degrade water supplies and reduce your property value. Below are some valuable tips to ensure the longevity of your system.

Septic do and dont.JPG

Dysart et al Septic re-inspection Program

Starting in 2018, Dysart et al embarked on a septic re-inspection program.  A by-law, available to download on the Dysart et al website, was passed in December 2017.   As per the Schedule A of the By-law, this program will be rolled out based on geographic areas over the next few years.  Haliburton Lake, Oblong Lake and Percy Lake are slated to commence septic re-inspection on 2023 and to be completed by end of 2014. Dysart et al has provide a list of qualified contractors on their website along with the prescribed check list to ensure that the inspection is done properly. Once an inspection is completed, it will be up to the property owner to submit a copy of the inspection report to the Municipality for follow up. More details can be located in the Dysart FAQ document on the sidebar.

Septic re_inspection schedule A.JPG

Protecting our Health, our Environment and our Investment 

Muskoka News Aug 19, 2018:

Health unit confirmed blue-green algae in Three Mile Lake; Swim advisory, Drinking Water advisory, Fish advisory

bluegreen algae.jpg
bluegreen algae foot.jpg
bluegreen algae dog.jpg
bottom of page