Methane Gas is a toxic and lethal substance that is present in and a product of septic systems.  Extreme care must be exercised in the presence of and around open septic system components. Maintenance should be performed by qualified and trained professionals. Do not enter a septic tank under any circumstances or for any reason.

The following overview of septic systems is intended to draw attention to and provide a better understanding of septic system operation and maintenance.

Septic systems are a fact of life for most cottage and rural dwellers.  Knowing and understanding how the septic system on your property works is important in order to achieve maximum efficiency and longevity.  A well maintained system is important in order to minimize the impact on the environment, not only on your property but also on adjacent lands and waterways.

“Understanding Your Cottage Septic System” which was produced by FOCA (Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations in co-operation with the Peterborough Public Health Unit, provides an overview and explanation of the workings of a septic system.    Follow this link to see the video presentation:  Understanding Your Cottage Septic System.

Variations of systems. The foregoing  example operates by gravity without the presence of pumps. Alternately, some systems  employ a pump to: a) either pump the raw sewage to the septic tank  which in turn empties into the drain field  OR  b) to pump the effluent from the septic tank to the drain field.

Advanced Septic Systems are very costly to install and to maintain. They require ongoing contracted professional maintenance.  They are sometimes perceived as “the enemy” when in reality, they are only necessary and required in circumstances where the site will not accommodate a traditional system.

Effluent Filters, under the Ontario Building Code as of 2006, are required on all new installations.  They are an added level of protection to prevent solid matter from flowing to the drainage field.  Although, retrofitting is not mandated by the Ontario Building Code, the retro installation of an effluent filter, where safe and practical, provides added protection for the system.

From our local phone directory and searching the internet, there appears to be two septic system service providers in the Northern Bruce Peninsula:                                        1) Bruce Peninsula Septic Service 519 596 2246 or 519 793 3224                                                2) Scott Septic Pumping 519 596 8821

Bruce Peninsula Septic Service Website page on Maintenance and Education contains interesting and valuable information that should be of interest to all property owners who have a Septic System.  Follow this link to find out about your system…. Learning about and maintaining your septic system.

The Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association  is a provincial not-for-profit association dedicated to promoting the benefit and value of onsite and decentralized wastewater management through education, improved standards of practice, and advocacy for sound policies across the province.  Its website has a broad range of information; two pages in particular are of particular interest to private property owners:

This link explains the workings of a septic system plus there are four links at the bottom of the page that provide additional information: How a Septic System Works

Factual unbiased information about additives for septic systems is provided at this link: Septic Tank Additives – what you need to know.

NOTE: References on this page are used with permission