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Septic Systems Consultation Only

Rural properties whether in the country or a town or village are frequently serviced by septic pumper trucks as required by the OBC, (Ontario Building Code) with-in a 5 year period for pumping. At this time they can be reviewed for deficiencies. Well water should be tested one or two times per year to ensure quality is maintained. DoubleCheck Home Inspections Ottawa does not investigate septic systems or wells. However, we provide the following information for your interest.

Septic systems require inspection during construction; they generally last 15 to 20 years. Surprisingly some have lasted up to 40 years. Having the septic tank pumped at the time of the septic inspection will aid in the complete review of the septic system and may reveal problems with the tank or upgrades that could be made.

Inspection

Never attempt to inspect a septic system when the ground is frozen because digging test holes will be almost impossible. If the home will be vacant over winter, it is best to wait until the frost is out before pumping the tank.

Only a licensed septic system investigator is capable of inspecting a septic system properly. This inspection should include both the tank and weeping bed. Simply checking the tank does not give you enough information.

The following points relate to traditional septic systems, which include a septic tank and a weeping bed.

  • The septic system should be no closer than 3m to the lot line.
  • It must be at least 15 metres (50 feet) from the nearest drilled well.
  • It must be at least 30 metres (100 feet) from the nearest dug well.
  • The septic tank should be at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) from the house.
  • The septic system must be at least 5 metres (16 feet) from a swimming pool.
  • The septic tank should be at least 5 metres (16 feet) from a vegetable garden.
  • The septic tank should not be under a deck or part of the house.

Maintenance

Ontario Building Code requires septic systems to be pumped every 3 to 5 years. If you are purchasing, ask for the name of the septic pumping company that last serviced the system. Ask the company whether there have been any problems with the system.

How often pumping is required depends on the number of people in the house and the improper use of chemicals that kill the microbes required to break down the sewage in the tank.

Repairs

Examples of intermediate repairs and preventive maintenance include repairing the septic tank baffle, adding sand and wood chip filters, and installing an effluent filter.

All septic system repairs should be inspected by a licensed inspector. If you plan to add a bathroom or bedroom or an addition that increases the floor space by more than 10%, the municipal building inspector must review whether the existing system can meet the increased demand.

Replacement

Check with the municipal building inspector before shopping for a new system. Regulations may restrict your options. For examples, it is no longer permissible to install a weeping bed in close proximity to a lakeshore. Septic system technology is always developing. Some new options include:

  • Aerobic treatment
  • Peat-based leaching bed
  • Combination systems
  • Shallow-buried trenches
  • Chambered systems
  • Artificial media filters

More information

Ottawa: The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is an excellent source of informaton about well and septic systems. Go towww.rideauvalley.on.ca or telephone 613-692-0160 for more iformation.

Ontario: The Ontario Federation of Agriculture web site includes detailed resources pertaining to wells and septic systems. Go tohttp://www.ofa.on.ca/site/home.asp

Technical enquiries may also be directed to: Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Code Development & Technical Training Section, Housing Development and Building Branch, 777 Bay Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2E5 or phone 416-585-6666 or Web Site: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/site4.aspx

For general guidelines on the inspection process, please see our FAQs section.

Inspect first! To book a DCI inspection online click here; email us at info@doublecheckinspections.ca,

or call 1-613-322-3682.

Book an Inspection

Central Mortgage and Housing Canada (CMHC) www.cmhc.ca has a wealth of information on home ownership, some of which is noted below. CMHC is located at 800 Montreal Road in Ottawa. You may wish to e-mail or contact them by: telephone at 1-800-688-2642, or by fax at 1-800-245-9274

Order No.

Series No.

Title from About the House Series

62277

CE 26a

Hiring a Contractor

62839

CE 35

Hiring a Home Inspector

62935

CE 39

Buying a Toilet

62896

CE 41C

Water Filters

63218

CE 47

Home Maintenance Schedule

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) also has useful information.

 

 


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