Water/Sewer & Environment
Need more information?
Victor Reid Environmental Service Manager
What You Need to Know About Door to door water testing!
- No one coming door-to-door is authorized to make a health-based test on your water.
- Door-to-door water tests do not tell you about water safety.
- Chemical trickery may make your water look brown, just because of natural mineral content.
- If you have any concerns about water safety, contact your municipality or your local health unit.
Visit http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/default.aspx for more information.
No connections shall be made to sanitary sewers, which would permit the ingress of surface or subsurface water, or water from drains, downspouts, gutters, or the flow from weeping tile.
Water Conservation Information
- Raise the height of the blade on the lawn mower so that grass is never less than 1.5″ = longer grass has stronger roots, crowds out weeds, requires less water and helps the soil retain moisture longer.
- Leave the grass clippings on the lawn – grass clippings contain valuable nutrients which help grass develop stronger root systems and help retain moisture.
- Keep lawn mower blades sharp – dull blades tear grass and cause damage which can lead to heat stress and disease
- A thorough, less frequent watering encourages deeper, healthier lawn roots, making for a stronger, greener lawn
- Water your lawn for only 1/2 to 1 hour at a time. Most lawns only need approximately one inch of water per week
- Never water your lawn throughout the night – this is almost as bad as under watering your lawn
- Many types of sprinklers can lose as much as 50% of water to evaporation – using a soaker hose directly waters the lawn with no loss to evaporation.
- Add a mixture of peat moss and compost to your garden – this not only provides valuable nutrients making for healthier plants, but the soil will actually retain moisture longer
- Add a layer of mulch, approximately two to four inches in depth to your garden
- Use plants which are native and are drought resistant
- Use rain water collected from your downspout into a rain barrel for watering plants – its better for your plants than tap water
- Use direct watering methods which soak the area around the plants, such as a soaker hose
Miscellaneous Property Care
- Use a broom to clean off your driveway instead of hosing it down
- Instead of using a hose use a bucket to wash vehicles
- Putting a cover on your swimming pool reduces evaporation
- Fix leaky faucets as soon as possible – one drip per second can amount to 60 litres of water per day
- Fix leaky toilets as soon as possible. Leaky toilets are also big water wasters – wasting as much as 750 litres of water per month
What is a Septic system?
A septic system is a small-scale private sewage treatment system. Septic systems are common in rural areas, where hook-up to sanitary sewer mains is unavailable, but may also exist in urban areas. The design of your septic system will depend on the characteristics of the soil, and surrounding landscape, as well as the amount of space available, where you live.
How does it work?
Traditional septic systems are composed of an underground septic tank, a distribution box, and a leaching field (also called a drainfield).
Sewage flows from your house into the septic tank, where the solids settle to the bottom forming a sludge layer, fats and greases float to the surface, forming a scum layer. The remaining wastewater flows into the distribution box, than into the leaching field. In the leaching field the water is filtered through porous materials, such as sand and gravel, before seeping into the ground.
Signs of problems
- Sewage backup in drains or toilets
- Slow flushing toilets, sinks or drains
- Visible liquid on the surface of the ground near the septic system. It may or may not have an odor associated with it.
- Lush green grass over the drain field, even during dry weather, often indicates that an excessive amount of liquid from the system is moving up through the soil instead of downward. While some upward movement of liquid from the drain field is good, too much could indicate major problems.
- Build-up of aquatic weeds or algae in lakes or ponds adjacent to your home. This may indicate that nutrient-rich septic system waste is leaching into the surface of the water.
- Unpleasant odors around your house.
Use and Care of Septic System
- Divert rainwater from the septic system
- Don’t overload the septic system
- Keep trees away from the septic system
- Be aware of what goes into the septic system
- Use garbage disposals wisely
- Limit the amount of heavy duty cleaners
- Avoid hazardous chemicals
- Don’t pour grease down the drain
- Protect the system from damage
- Perform routine maintenance. Get the septic tank pumped regularly, every 3-5 years
Where to get more information:
Ministry of Environment www.ene.gov.on.ca
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing www.mah.gov.on.ca
Conservation Ontario (or your local Conservation Authority) www.conservation-ontario.ca
Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre www.orwc.uoguelph.ca
Your local Health Unit or Building Department