Learn how your septic system works and find resources on how to keep it working properly. This technical information is for Ontario rural residents.
Published September 2022
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You may have a septic system if you live in a rural area, a small community or have a cottage.
Septic systems are onsite wastewater treatment units that fulfill the role of municipal sewers in rural areas. Anything that goes down the drain — every shower drip and toilet flush — flows to the septic system.
Septic systems are made up of:
- a tank
- a network of pipes
- billions of organisms that process your waste
This booklet explains how your septic system works and how to keep it working properly.
You are responsible for the operation of your septic system and it is in your best interest to take good care of it from a health, financial and environmental perspective.
- illustrates and describes the function and key components of a class 4 rural septic system
- provides guidelines on minimum separation distances for type 4 systems
- outlines best management practices for proper maintenance of a septic system
If you would like a printer-friendly PDF, email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The booklet is also available in the best management practices library.
These videos provide information about how septic systems work, how to take care of them and newer types of systems available for challenging locations.
Find out why maintaining your septic system is a good idea that can save you money and protect water quality.
- Video: Your septic system
- Video: Septic system maintenance
- Video: Septic technologies in Canada
- Video: Septic systems in the Lake Simcoe watershed
If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact email@example.com. We will:
- acknowledge your request within 3 business days
- provide you with the content within 15 business days