Please feel free to contact the Ril Lake septic representatives at:
Margaret Fielding - firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Chadwick - email@example.com
Casey Cook - firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be pleased to assist or help with guiding you in the right direction to understanding and maintaining your septic.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the following information on septic systems, additional resources are listed below.
Many rural areas rely on septic systems for wastewater management. It is important to understand the operation of these systems and the part you play as the homeowner to ensure it is maintained efficiently. Improper maintenance can be harmful to your family's health and can compromise the surrounding ecosystems, wildllife and integrity of both ground and surface water such as wells, rivers, streams and lakes.
A septic system is comprised of two major parts:
1. the septic tank
2. the leaching bed area
The tank is made up of two chambers usually underground where the wastewater flows from the home. The tank is sealed which allows no oxygen into the area, solids settle to the bottom and scum will float and rest on the surface. The liquids flow through a distribution box to the leaching (or tile) bed. This area can be made of clay tiles or perforated pipes which distribute the wastewater over natural soil or fill brought in to additionally help filter the water.
Figure 1: Wastewater recycling from an onsite system
Credit: Éric Brunet, Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre, University of Guelph (Image taken from Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation)
The wastewater in the tile beds is further processed by bacteria and oxygen which digest and remove impurities such as chemicals, viruses and/or harmful bacteria. The water eventually flows through to groundwater and ultimately to surrounding rivers, streams and lakes.
It is important to be alert and check your septic system area frequently. The following are some signs your system may not be functioning effectively:
1. Toilets, drains run slower or back up more frequently
2. Unusual or foul odours in the house or in your drinking water
3. Soggy ground around the septic area
4. Surface flooding of sewage
5. Greener, thicker grass around the bed
6. Significant algae growth in nearby lakes, rivers or streams
It is extremely important to understand that septic systems are Not Garbage Cans. The bacteria within a septic system is essential to break down the wastewater properly. Introducing harmful bacteria by way of your drain or toilet can significantly impair the system by killing the essential bacteria within the system.
For your own safety and health, Never Put the Following into the Septic System:
1. Fats, oils, grease
2. Gasoline, antifreeze
3. Varnish, paints, solvents, drain and toilet bowl cleaners
4. Bleach, pesticides
5. Nail polish remover, cat box litter
6. Tampons, sanitary napkins, diapers, paper towels, facial tissue, condoms
7. Plastics of any kind
8. Coffee grounds, tea leaves, egg shells or other kitchen waste
9. Cigarette filters.
All of these items can kill the active bacteria in the system essentially making it unable to function. Adding a store-bought septic additive may increase the problem.
If you notice any change in the system it is important to contact a licenced professional septic company.
Pumping out the septic should be done every 2 to 3 years.
There are several septic pump-out companies within the District of Muskoka. Many of these operators will offer a discount by volume. By communicating with neighbours or friends on the lake, you may be able to have a reduced rate if the operator can pump out multiple systems. Many also offer a "Seniors Discount", so if you have a "senior" within your family, make use of these offers!
Local Septic Operators are listed in the yellow pages.
Please note that a portion of the fee charge is for disposal of the waste to your local treatment facility. Due to increased population of the area and cost to operate a wastewater treatment facility these fees may be subject to change each year.
The following links provide useful and informative resources.
Township of Lake of Bays
1012 Dwight Beach Road, Dwight ON, P0A 1H0
District Municipality of Lake of Bays
70 Pine Street, Bracebridge ON P1L 1N3
1-800-461-4210 (within 705 area code only)
Ministry of the Environment 2012. Septic System Users:
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Federation of Ontario Cottagers Association (FOCA) 2012. Environmental Resources and
Septic System Management.
District Municipality of Muskoka, 2012. Muskoka WaterWeb. Protecting Muskoka's Water.