Deficiencies for Sewage System Classes

Class 1 (Privy)
• Absence of fill around the base of the privy
• Inadequate soil depth

Class 2 (Greywater)
• No evidence of a grey-water pit; pipe on surface of the ground
• Absence of fill around the base of existing pit
• Inadequate cover

Class 4 (Septic System)
• No existing system; pipes on surface of the ground, or slightly buried
• Old tanks in need of replacement
• No indication of leaching bed; outlet pipe from ground extending into/onto ground
• Leaching bed completely overgrown, in need of replacement

Class 5 (Holding Tank)
• Corroded access cover
• Holes in holding tank
• Access openings not properly sealed

• Extra plant growth over the leaching bed area
• Foul odours outside
• Effluent breaking out to the ground surface
• Significant algae growth in or around nearby lakes or water bodies.

During a visual inspection, an inspector may note a problem such as a driveway, deck, patio, or even tennis court built over-top of the leaching bed area.

Ontario Building Code section General Requirements for Operation and Maintenance
(1)Every sewage system shall be operated and maintained so that, (a) the sewage system or any part thereof shall not emit, discharge, or deposit sanitary sewage or effluent onto the surface of the ground, (b) sanitary sewage or effluent shall not emit, discharge, seep, leek or otherwise escape from the sewage system or part thereof other than from a place or part of the sewage system where the system is designed or intended to discharge the sanitary sewage or effluent, and (c) except as provided in sentence (2), sanitary, sewage or effluent shall not emit, discharge, seep, leak or otherwise escape from the sewage system or any part thereof into a piped water supply, well water supply, a watercourse, ground water or surface water.

Identified during a visual inspection:
• Type of building
• Type of tank
• Type of system
• Evidence of sewage effluent visible and/or odour
• Evidence of erosion of septic bed side slopes
• Whether the groundwater flows toward the system
• If the sewage system/septic tank is properly located on the property
• Whether the sewage system bed has trees/vegetation growth
• Whether the system is located more than 50ft. from the water
• Whether there is a privy located on the property
• Whether property is water access only
• Whether the sewage system serves more than one building
• If the system uses a pump chamber
• Whether a sewage system approval exists

Age of system: In general, the older the system is, the greater the likelihood that problems may exist. Any system over 10 years old would provide reasonable grounds for a visual inspection due to its age. Recently installed systems should not generally require immediate inspection. But Ontario Building Code has started Mandatory Septic Inspections every 5 years in some areas of Ontario.

Septic Illustrations

septic photos illustration