In order to ensure that all septic systems in Severn are properly maintained and functioning, Township of Severn follows the Discretionary and Mandatory On-Site Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program outlined in the Ontario Building Code, which supports the Clean Water Act.

Program areas and exemptions

View the program areas and exemptions to see if your property is included in the inspection program.

Mandatory inspection program area

Properties that are a part of the Mandatory On-Site Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program are located within the predetermined vulnerable areas of the Wellhead Protection Area and the Intake Protection Zone.

Discretionary inspection program area

The Discretionary On-Site Sewage System Maintenance Inspection program applies to all properties serviced by a sewage system and that are located on the following bodies of water within the Severn:

  • Severn River
  • Gloucester Pool
  • Little Lake
  • Maclean Lake
  • Matchedash Bay
  • Lake Couchiching
  • Lake St. George
  • Green River
  • Black River
  • Sparrow Lake
  • Tea Lake

Program exemptions

If your sewage system was installed within two years of the intended inspection date, your property is exempt from the inspection. We will inspect your system in five years.

If you have an Advanced Treatment Unit, your sewage system will be exempt from this program as long as you submit:

  • a current service agreement
  • annual service reports

Please submit these documents to us every year.

If you don't submit these documents, we'll inspect your sewage system to ensure that the Advanced Treatment Unit is in compliance with our Discretionary and Mandatory On-Site Sewage System Maintenance By-law and the Ontario Building Code.

Inspection schedule

We'll inspect all properties located in the mandatary and discretionary inspection program areas once every five years.

If your property is selected for the current year, you'll receive a letter outlining the program details and what to expect during the up-coming inspection. You don't need to be present for the inspection. Due to the large number of properties and limited time, we won't book inspections.


It costs $150 to have your septic system inspected. We'll send you an invoice following the inspection. The fee is payable to the Township of Severn and we must receive the payment within 60 days of invoicing.

You will only pay this fee if your property is located within these program areas and you have a sewage system. Any properties that are on municipal sewers are not included. This fee is separate from your property taxes.

Deficiencies report

If deficiencies are found during the inspection, you'll receive a report outlining the requirements you'll need to complete in order to pass the inspection. The report will also include a deadline to complete the work.

Once you've completed the work, please notify us and we will re-inspect. An extension may be granted or an order under the Ontario Building Code may be issued if the Septic Inspector finds that the work has not been completed.

What we're looking for

During an inspection, the Septic Inspector will look for signs of damage or system failure. This includes:

  • ponding (or water) on the top or sides of the bed
  • sewage odours
  • damage or cracking of the septic tank
  • any washing away of the septic bed soil

With older systems, the Septic Inspector will look for components that are no longer deemed acceptable. These include:

  • steel septic tanks
  • direct deposits of gray water
  • weak or no lid structures on gray water pits
  • outhouses that are in poor condition

The program also ensures that you are keeping up with all required maintenance, such as:

  • septic tank or holding tank pumping
  • vegetation removal
  • electrical and alarm maintenance
  • soil maintenance
  • grading around the septic bed