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Septic Systems

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All development (residential, commercial and institutional) in South Frontenac have a septic system which is designed to treat wastewater which goes down the drain (toilets, showers, dishwashers, washing machines, etc).

A septic system includes a septic tank and a leaching bed - both hidden below the soil. It is critical to your health, the health of neighbours, the health of the ecosystem and your property investment that your septic system is working properly. It is your responsibility to make sure your septic system is in good working order.

DO'S AND DON'TS

Do:

  • Know where your septic tank and leaching bed are located on your property.
  • Keep accurate records of septic system maintenance, pump outs and service calls.
  • Test your well water at least three times per year for indicator bacteria (spring, summer and fall).
  • Have your system inspected by a licensed installer or sewage hauler every three to five years and pumped out when required (house typically every three years - seasonal cottage every five plus years). Best time of year for pump out is summer or fall before the cold weather.
  • Clean the effluent filter (located in the tank where it flows to the bed) at least once a year.
  • Direct surface water/drainage away from leaching bed.
  • Conserve water use to reduce amount of wastewater needed to be treated.

Don't:

  • Never enter your septic tank.
  • Put fats, oils, paints, food waste, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, condoms or anything plastic down the drain.
  • Use special additives that are claimed to enhance your tank or system.
  • Cleaning detergents that are high in phosphorus.
  • Dig on your property without knowing where your septic system is located.
  • Drive or park over your septic system.
  • Pave over your leaching bed.
  • Put an above ground pool over your leaching bed
  • Put an outdoor skating rink over your leaching bed.
  • Put a garden over your leaching bed.
  • Plant tree over your leaching bed.
  • Allow livestock over your leaching bed.
  • Connect rain gutters, sump pumps or storm drains into your septic system.
  • Drain hot tubs or pools into your septic system.

Signs that your system is not working properly:

  • You detect a sewer odour
  • There is effluent pond on top of leaching bed
  • Toilets, sinks or other drains are slow to drain or backing up

What to do when you suspect a problem:

  • Contact a licenced professional and have the system inspected
  • After inspection it may be necessary to have a licenced hauler pump out tank
  • If the system has "failed" it may be necessary to replace all or part of the system.
  • Contact the health unit or building department to obtain necessary permits - if near water there many also be a need for conservation authority permits

Helpful Resources        

The approval for new, expanded and replacement septic systems, in the Township of SSeptic Smart Brochureouth Frontenac is carried out by our partner organization, the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health (KFLAPH).  They have been contracted by the Township to conduct the application review, approval and inspection of all septic systems within the Township.   The KFLAP applications, fees and process guides for septic systems can be found here.

The Township is also happy to provide the "Septic Smart" guide to understanding your home's septic system.  Download this guide to learn more about how your septic system works and how you can ensure your investment and the natural environment is protected.

You can also download this Do's and Don'ts Guide to post at your home for family and visitors to follow.

Leaching Bed Diagram