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Septic Systems

You'll find everything you need to know about septic systems in this section, including information on installations, septic permits and the Township's Septic Re-Inspection Program. 

Septic System Permit Application Package

General Information

A septic system accepts all the wastewater from the home (toilets, sinks, showers, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.), treats the wastewater to a safe level and returns the treated effluent to the groundwater. The most common type of septic system is the septic tank and leaching bed. Other types of onsite systems include holding tanks, greywater systems, privies, cesspools (e.g. for the overflow from composting toilets), and more high tech options such as tertiary treatment systems (e.g. biofilters).  

In Algonquin Highlands, all septic waste is handled by individual, onsite septic systems. A municipal sewage system is not feasible due to the low housing density and large geographic area. If you have running water at your home or cottage, you are required to have an approved onsite septic system.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your system is in good repair and working properly.

In accordance with the Ontario Building Code, a permit is required to install a new septic system or to alter an existing one. Septic permits are obtained from the Building Department. Your septic designer/installer will usually apply for and obtain a permit on your behalf. Be sure to keep a copy of your permit on file, so that you can refer back to the location diagram in the future.

Septic System Permit Application Package

Application for a Copy of Sewage System Permit and/or Installation Report
* For a PDF or paper copy of this form, please contact the Township Office.

The technical term for the waste that is pumped from your septic tank is septage or hauled sewage. Septage is partially treated sewage that includes both the solids and liquids. In Algonquin Highlands, septic haulers have two methods for disposing of septage: private disposal (e.g. land application or treatment facility on privately owned land) or dumping into the Township’s McClintock Septage Lagoon. 

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