Septic system inspections in Guelph

All local sewage systems must be inspected every five years to ensure safe operation, and to meet the requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

If you have a well/septic system

Please arrange for a qualified contractor or consulting engineering firm to perform the inspection, complete a survey, and evaluate sewage system performance. You will need to provide information about the location, type, age, and operation type of sewage system on your property of the system.

If upgrades are required, you must arrange for these to be completed immediately.

Find a contractor

For contractors/engineering consulting firms

On-site Sewage Survey form

Please complete any required upgrades before submitting a Certificate Mandatory Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program.

The Ontario Building Code says the contractor/engineering consulting firm performing the inspection cannot complete any required upgrades to your sewage system.

Please submit completed forms to [email protected]

You may need a building permit

Depending on the nature of the upgrades required you may need a building permit.

Signs your sewage system might be failing

  • Slowing or backed up drains in your home
  • Spongy spots on or near the leaching bed
  • Sewage on the ground or near the bed
  • Odor in the basement or outside
  • Poor well or surface water quality

Maintaining your sewage system


  • Learn where your system is located.
  • Keep the tank access lid secured to the riser at all times.
  • Keep an as-built system diagram in a safe place for reference.
  • Keep accurate records of septic system maintenance and service calls.
  • Test your well water at least three times a year, spring, summer and fall, for indicator bacteria.
  • Have your tank inspected for sludge and scum buildup every three to five years. Have the sludge pumped out when it fills a third of your tank.
  • Have your effluent filter checked and cleaned every year. If you don’t have an effluent filter, consider adding one.
  • Divert surface water away from your leaching bed
  • Use less water at home and reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated
  • Add a lint filter to your washing machine’s discharge pipe
  • Do laundry throughout the week rather than all on one day


  • Enter a sewage tank, gases and lack of oxygen can be fatal
  • Put food, oil or grease down the drain.
  • Flush hazardous chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cigarette butts or sanitary products.
  • Use a garbage disposal unit/garburator unless your system has been designed for it.
  • Use additives that claim to enhance the performance of your tank or system.
  • Dig without knowing the location of your leaching bed.
  • Drive or park over your tank or leaching bed.
  • Pave over your leaching bed.
  • Install sprinkler system over the leaching bed.
  • Allow livestock on the leaching bed.
  • Plant trees or shrubs near the septic tank or leaching bed.
  • Connect rain gutters, storm drains, sump pumps or allow surface water to drain into a septic system.
  • Connect leaching bed or greywater system to agricultural field drainage.
  • Discharge water softener backwash to the septic system unless your system has been designed for it.
  • Drain hot tub and spa water to the septic system.

For more information

Building Services
[email protected]