Septic Maintenance and Inspections

Understanding your home's septic system

A septic system is a private sewage treatment system.  These systems are common in rural areas where there are no municipal sewage systems available for connection.  

A septic system built to standards and maintained properly can enhance the value of your property, prevent costly replacement or repairs and prevent contamination of groundwater resources.  

Check out Septic Smart! from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  Septic Smart includes videos, online information, DVDs and checklist that can be obtained through ServiceOntario.  

Other Resource:
Your Septic System - Protecting Your Investment and the Environment

Caring For Your Septic System

It is important to care for your septic system – you are the owner of this system and it is your responsibility to ensure it is functioning properly. The following tips can help to protect both your investment and the environment:

  • Know where your tank and leaching bed are located and ensure your tank is pumped out every 3 to 5 years. 
  • Avoid putting grease, food, compost, wet naps, feminine hygiene products, etc. down the drain or toilet. 
  • Avoid parking vehicles on or driving over your tanks and leaching bed.
  • Do not construct driveways, buildings, or pools on or near any part of the septic system. 
  • Be water smart by conserving and spreading out your water use. 
  • Avoid excessive use of anti-bacterial soaps, bleaches, and harsh cleansers. 
  • Do not put paints, solvents, or other toxic chemicals down the drain. 
  • Keep trees and shrubs away from the leaching bed.

For Septic Factsheets, visit

Septic Systems and Source Water Protection

Systems obtain source water from streams, likes or groundwater (underground aquifers).  This water is used to supply both private wells and municipal drinking water.  To ensure that drinking water is as clean and safe as possible, it is important to prevent contamination at the source. 
The goal of Wellington Source Water Protection is to work together with residents, business owners and farmers within vulnerable source water areas to protect our drinking water sources and ensure our drinking water remains safe for everyone to consume. For more information, visit

Septic Inspections 

One potential source of contamination of source water is septic systems. All properties with septic systems located within highly vulnerable municipal well head protection areas or intake protection zones are required to have their septic systems inspected every five years. This is mandated under the Ontario Building Code, the Clean Water Act and the watershed based Source Protection Plan.

In 2015, Guelph/Eramosa is implementing this mandatory septic inspection program with funding fromt the Province.  Due to the number of inspections required in Guelph / Eramosa Township, the provincial funding available will cover about half of each inspection cost in 2015/16.  As this is an ongoing program and to minimize the impact on property owners, those properties requiring inspections will see a $50 to $60 special levy on their property taxes beginning in 2016.

Septic Socials

In summer 2015, the Township of Guelph/Eramosa will be hosting the following Septic Social events to provide information, answer questions and educate owners on proper septic maintenance, the septic inspection program and source water protection.  These events are being run with the Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre.

  • Saturday, June 27, 2015 , 2:00 to 4:00 pm, Eden Mills Community Hall, 108 York Street, Eden Mills
  • Thursday, July 9, 2015, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Marden Community Centre, 7368 Wellington Road 30, Marden

For more informaton, view the Septic Social Poster