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Septic systems don’t run by themselves. They need regular inspections, cleaning and maintenance, or they break down and leak raw sewage. It is therefore somewhat amazing that only last summer was the Building Code (O. Reg 350/06) amended (by O. Reg. 315/10) to require such regular inspections and maintenance, at least in some “vulnerable areas”. (Existing rules focus on the original construction and commissioning of septic systems.)

The inspection program will be mandatory in some “vulnerable areas” defined by Clean Water Act source protection plans, once the plans are adopted and approved. The inspection programs must be administered by “principal authorities” (i.e., municipalities, health units and/or conservation authorities). Principal authorities can also set up on-site sewage system maintenance inspection programs in the rest of their territory, if they wish. The amendments also establish technical requirements for tertiary treatment unit disposal beds (“area beds”) that form part of certain on-site sewage systems. See EBR Registry Number 010-3036 and 010-9557.

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