Wells and Septic Systems

Please note the Township of North Kawartha does not have municipal water or sewer services. It is only private wells and septic systems. Installation and maintenance of private wells and septic systems are the responsibility of the property owner.

Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program

The Council of the Township of North Kawartha has committed to the implementation of a sewage system maintenance inspecton program commencing the spring of 2014.  Upon review of the 2014 program outlined in a Report to Council dated February 2, 2015, it has been determined that the program will continue in 2015.  This program will be conducted for all properties throughout the Municipality in phases.  The area to be inspected in 2015 will be the north end of Chandos Lake.  Residents/property owners who will be included in the program annually will be notified by mail as to the approximate date of inspection.

About the Program

The objective of the Sewage System Maintenance Program is to aid in keeping our lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater pollution free.  All sewage disposal systems in the Township of North Kawartha are private on-site systems and are regulated through the Ontario Building Code.  Systems that are improperly maintained, older or outdated or malfunctioning may have a negative impact on the environment, lakes and groundwater.  The Council of North Kawartha is committed to the preservation of the environment and natural resources in the area and has intiated the implemenation of this program.

The program will commence in May 2014 and continue on a 5 year cycle until all systems 5 years of age and over in the Municipality have been reviewed.  The program will be conducted by summer students from May until late August.  They will collect information on existing systems and properties and look for visual signs that may indicate that a system may need attention.

The Program process will include:

  • The selection of properties with the aid of existing mapping and County GIS and existing information such as sewage system records;
  • Initial site visit and review by the student inspector (a site survey form may be left at this time or included in the mailed notice for completion by the property owner);
  • The visual inspection of the property with respect to:
    • type and number of buildings connected to the system
    • type of system
    • evidence of sewage effluent ponding or odour
    • evidence of erosion of septic bed side slopes
    • surface water or ground water flows toward the system
    • evidence of unusually green or thick grass rowing on or around the tile bed
    • improper leaching pit for grey water
    • if the system is properly located on the property
    • tree/vegetation growth on the system tile bed
    • the system being located a minimum of 50 feet (15 m) from water body
    • the system is located min 50 ft from a drilled well or 100 ft from a dug well
    • if there is a privy located on the property
    • if the system utilizes a pump chamber
    • that a sewage system approval exists
  • A letter is sent to the property owner if an deficiencies are noted and a follow up is conducted in the form of a phone call and/or another letter and/or further inspections as required;
  • The Municipal Sewage System/Building Inspector conducts the follow-up abatement as necessary.

Tips for Keeping Your Sewage Disposal System (Septic) Healthy

  • Avoid planting vegetation or plants that have a deep root system on the leaching bed;
  • Ensure that trees are at least 10 feet (3m) away from the runs in the tile bed;
  • Pump the septic tank every 3 to 5 years depending on how often the system is used;
  • Do not use a sink garburator;
  • Do not connect water softener backwash to the septic system;
  • Ensure that materials such as Kleenex, sanitary tissues/napkins, grease, oil, solvents, paints, food waste, excessive laundry soaps etc. do not enter the system;
  • Follow the Ontario Building Code requirements for privy's, leach pits, holding tanks, septic tanks/tile beds;
  • Drilled wells must be a minimum of 50 feet (15 m) from the sewage system and dug wells must be at least 100 feet (50 m) away;
  • Don't park vehicles, trailers, equipment, etc. or drive on the tile bed.

Sewage System Permit Information

Procedures for completing a sewage disposal system application and the documentation required is also available at the Township office.  If you already have a sewage disposal system (septic) on your property and wish to have it reviewed to ensure it will meet the requirements of your building project prior to submitting your building permit, please submit an Application for Existing Sewage System Inspection/Review.

Sewage System Application

 Apply for your Permit Online!

Form 1 - Application for Existing Sewage System Inspection/Review

To apply for a copy of sewage system and/or installation report please complete the form below.  Please note there is a $100.00 fee for this service.

Application for a Copy of Sewage System and/or Installation Report (printable pdf)

Application for a Copy of Sewage System and/or Installation Report (online fillable form)


Water Testing

Water sample bottles can be picked up from the Municipal Office Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Water Sample Drop off locations:
1.  Public Health Ontario Laboratory at 99 Hospital Drive, Peterborough between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Friday.
2.  Peterborough Public Health, 185 Kings St. Peterborough between the hours of 8:30 a.m and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. 


Should you wish to perform further testing (e.g. nitrates, sodium, fluoride, metals, chemicals), you must contact a private laboratory. Find one in this list of accredited laboratories or call Peterborough Public Health for more information.

Source Water Protection
To learn how to manage risks and identify actions that you can take to protect your drinking water source please view the Ministry of Ontario Best Practices Source Water Protection
Information Packages and Links

Simply Safer is Simply Smarter (Peterborough Public Health)

Your Septic System, Friend or Foe (Peterborough Public Health)

Septic Smart! Understanding Your Home's Wastewater System (Ontario Government)

Septic 101 (Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association, 222.oowa.org)

Dock Talk Septic Maintenance   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI00kFdwcKM (Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations)



Contact Us

Travis Toms
Chief Building Official/By-Law Enforcement Officer
The Township of
North Kawartha
280 Burleigh Street
P.O. Box 550
Apsley, Ontario
K0L 1A0

T. 705-656-5182
T. 705-656-4445 ext. 237
Toll Free: 1-800-755-6931 ext. 237
F. 705-656-4446
Email the Chief Building Official/By-Law Enforcement Officer

Map this Location.