Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is SNC’s role in septic programs?

A: SNC enforces Part 8 - Sewage Systems of the Ontario Building Code on behalf of the following Municipalities:

  • Alfred-Plantagenet;
  • Augusta;
  • Village of Casselman;
  • Champlain;
  • City Clarence-Rockland;
  • City of Cornwall;
  • Town of Hawkesbury;
  • Edwardsburgh-Cardinal;
  • East Hawkesbury;
  • Front of Yonge;
  • Nation;
  • North Dundas;
  • North Stormont;
  • Russell;
  • South Dundas; and
  • South Stormont.


Q: Have regulations always been governed under the Ontario Building Code?

A: No–Effective as of 1998, the responsibility for on-site sewage systems with a total daily flow of less than 10,000 litres per day was transferred from the Ministry of the Environment (Environmental Protection Act) to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Ontario Building Code). Your Municipality has delegated this task to the Conservation Authority by way of an Agreement.


Q: How is a septic system defined under the Ontario Building Code?

A: Division A, Section 1.4.1 of the Building Code Act defines a sewage system as

(a) a chemical toilet, an incinerating toilet, a recirculating toilet, a self-contained portable toilet and all forms of privy, including a portable privy, an earth pit privy, a pail privy, a privy vault and a composting toilet system,

(b) a greywater system,

(c) a cesspool,

(d) a leaching bed system, or

(e) a system that requires or uses a holding tank for the retention of hauled sewage at the site where it is produced before its collection by a hauled sewage system,

where these,

(f) have a design capacity of 10,000 litres per day or less,

(g) have, in total, a design capacity of 10,000 litres per day or less, where more than one of these are located on a lot or parcel of land, and

(h) are located wholly within the boundaries of the lot or parcel of land on which is located the building or buildings they serve.


Q: Who can design my septic system plan?

A: There are three approaches as per Division C, Part 3 of the Ontario Building Code:

  1. Licensed designer;
  2. Licensed installer; or
  3. Property owner. 


Q: When do I need to submit an application?

A: When you:

  • Build a new home/building that does not have Municipal services;
  • Renovate your home–especially when adding bedrooms, more plumbing fixtures, or finished floor area in excess of 15 per cent of the current foot print;
  • Replace or repair an aging or failing system.


Q: What is the septic application process for septic system replacement/new construction?

A: Application for new or replacement systems, or for the renovation of building are available online. SNC recommends consulting a licensed installer or qualified designer to design your septic system. Please submit the following to our office with your Application:

  • Fee: Payment at time of submission (Fees for residential applications are on our Fee Schedule); and
  • Supporting documents: copy of tax bill or Deed of Land.

Response Time: The Building Code requires that Applications be reviewed within 10 days; however if all related documents/drawings/information are not submitted with the Application this time frame may be lengthened.

Please note: Septic permits are required for new construction prior to applying for a Municipal building permit. SNC will submit the approved sewage system permit to the Municipality on your behalf to speed up the process.


Q: What if I observe an illegal or malfunctioning septic system?

A: Report illegal or malfunctioning septic systems to South Nation Conservation through the online Report a Concern weform.

Septic inspectors investigate reported complaints regarding malfunctioning septic systems. When a malfunctioning system is confirmed, an order may be issued under Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code.