Peterborough Public Health to Hold Virtual Public Meeting for Proposed Fee Changes to Sewage Systems

Written by Comms Team, December 5, 2022

Peterborough Public Health is notifying the community that a virtual public meeting will be held on December 29, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. regarding proposed fee increases for services related to the administration and enforcement of Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code (Sewage Systems). The proposed fee schedule changes are expected to come into effect January 1, 2023 and include increases to permit fees for Class 4 and Class 5 Sewage Systems. The virtual meeting is a public hearing as part of the legislation.

Members of the public interested in attending the meeting are asked to register in advance by calling (705) 743-1000, ext. 228.

Proposed Fee Changes for Service Related to Sewage Systems:

  • Permit for Class 4 Sewage System, design capacity less than or equal to 4500 litres per day
    • Current Fee – $750.00
    • Proposed Fee January 1, 2023 – $1000.00
  • Permit for Class 4 Sewage System, design capacity greater than 4500 litres per day and less than or equal to 10,000 litres per day
    • Current Fee – $1,200.00
    • Proposed Fee January 1, 2023 – $1450.00
  • Permit for Class 5 Sewage System (Holding Tank)
    • Current Fee – $750.00
    • Proposed Fee January 1, 2023 – $1000.00

Ongoing Sewage System Malfunction in the Region

Peterborough Public Health (PPH) continues to see a high number of malfunctioning and failing onsite sewage systems (septic systems) and is reminding residents that a sewage or septic system needs regular maintenance for optimal performance. “Having your septic tank pumped every three to five years is one of the simplest ways to maintain your sewage system and prevent premature failure,” advises Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health.

In addition to regularly pumping a septic tank, PPH recommends that homeowners follow the advice below to maintain a healthy, functioning septic system:

  • Distribute activities that use large amounts of water throughout the week. Avoid doing all of your laundry on one day and alternate days for laundry and running the dishwasher.
  • Avoid flushing grease down the drain; grease can clog the leaching bed and cause a system to prematurely fail.
  • Avoid automatic toilet bowl cleaners and drain “decloggers”, which continuously add harsh chemicals to sewage system, and may disrupt the microbiological balance of the system.
  • Use cleaners and disinfectants that are “septic friendly”. For example, a mild bleach solution is an effective disinfectant and when used modestly and appropriately, is unlikely to harm a sewage system. Limit the use of Quaternary Ammonium disinfectants – these are very hard on septic systems.
  • Do not flush disinfectant wipes or other sanitary products because they can lead to blockages within the system, and cause the system to fail.
  • If you are completing home renovations or construction projects, use caution. Do not wash solvents or paint down household drains as these products are exceptionally damaging to an onsite sewage system.

A failing septic system can create hazardous situations for residents. Sewage contains disease-causing microorganisms that can spread communicable diseases to people through contaminated water or from direct contact. It is important to maintain a septic system to prevent transmission of communicable diseases. Signs of a failing septic system include:

  • sewage odour indoors or outdoors;
  • breakout of sewage on the ground;
  • ponding of water on the leaching bed;
  • lush vegetation growth in areas along pipes but dry/dead grass in between; and/or
  • sewage backup into dwelling.

If you suspect your septic system is failing:

  • Contact a licensed onsite sewage system professional to examine the system;
  • Pump the septic tank as often as necessary to prevent sewage from ponding to the ground surface;
  • Contact our office to speak with a Public Health Inspector in the Safe Sewage Program.

Members of the public interested in attending the meeting are asked to register in advance by calling (705) 743-1000, ext. 228.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Sarah Gill
A/Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 352