/First season of septic inspections complete

First season of septic inspections complete

By Chad Ingram

Published Nov. 22 2018

Nearly 1100septic systems were inspected during the first year of a four-yearmandatory septic re-inspection program in Algonquin Highlands.

Representativesfrom WSP Canada the firm hired by Algonquin Highlands to conduct itsprogram gave councillors an update on its progress during a Nov. 15meeting.

Between May andOctober 1095 systems in the township were inspected located mostlyin the Boshkung Beech and Maple Lakes area. Of those 39 per centor 426 systems required some kind of remedial action however asproject co-ordinator Kathryn Stasiuk pointed out in most cases thatremedial action was simply a pump-out.

Thirty-nineproperties required additional investigation. This could have beendue to factors such as tree roots interfering with a system ordriveways located over the weeping bed for example.

We didrecommend those homeowners hire a qualified person” said PaisleyMcDowell who’ll be the project co-ordinator for the program for theupcoming season.

Twenty-four oldmetal tanks were located nine of those systems being older than 50years in age. Stasiuk said those homeowners were spoken to about thedecommissioning of those systems and why metal tanks areenvironmentally dangerous. They are no longer permitted under theOntario Building Code.

A metal tankmeans property owners will automatically fail their inspections andfor the upcoming season Stasiuk said there would be an option forproperty owners with metal tanks to apply for a building permit toconstruct a new system and forgo the inspection. Inspections forsystems newer than five years old are deferred under the program.

To me themost important thing is getting the metal tanks out of the systems”said Mayor Carol Moffatt. While Moffatt conceded that some residentshave taken issue with the mandatory nature of the program she saidshe thought there had also been a great deal of education and thatsome residents seem to appreciate learning more about their systemsand the ecological importance of having them operating property.

They finallyunderstood the whole process and why it’s important to keep thingsmoving” she said.

Thirty-fourproperty owners were not present for their scheduled inspectionswhich were deferred to the upcoming season.

In 2019inspections will take place in the Kushog Halls and Kabakwa Lakesareas. 2019 inspections will also include an inspection of systempumping chambers where problems can occur.

Moffatt said ablue-green algae bloom that appeared in the township this past summershould underscore the importance of the re-inspection program andlake health.

I think theblue-green algae bloom that we had this year needs to be a warningbell” she said.