Sewage Systems

Treat your septic system with respect. Pump out your septic tank at least once every two to three years.

In Ontario, the requirements for construction and maintenance of sewage systems with a design daily sewage flow of less than 10,000 litres per day are regulated under the Ontario Building Code (OBC).

The Sudbury & District Health Unit is designated under the OBC to conduct inspections and issue sewage system permits across the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts. This includes unorganized territories within those districts.

Classifications of sewage systems

Class 1

A sewage system used for the disposal of human body wastes (no added water) and includes all forms of privy or outhouse. A permit is not required for the construction of a Class 1 sewage system and, as such, a person is exempt from the permit process. However, they still require proper installation according to the Ontario Building Code.

Class 2

A leaching pit used for disposal of grey water, (sink, tub, shower, and laundry waste). A permit is required to install this type of septic system with specifications of a Class 2 system.

Class 3

A sewage system, cesspool is used for the disposal of human body wastes such as waste from a composting toilet or privy. A permit is required to install this type of septic system.

Class 4

A sewage system which consists of a treatment unit (generally a septic tank) and a leaching bed system. A permit is required to install this type of septic system.

Class 5

A sewage system using a holding tank for the retention of on-site sewage and must be emptied by a licensed sewage hauler. A permit is required to install this type of septic system.

Please note: Class 5 sewage systems are only allowed under certain circumstances, where a Class 4 sewage system is not appropriate due to lot limitations. Please speak to an inspector at the Health Unit if you have questions regarding Class 5 systems by calling 705.522.9200 or toll-free at 1.866.522.9200.

What is the Health Unit’s role?

The Health Unit regulates and ensures compliance with the Ontario Building Code regarding the installation and maintenance of private onsite sewage systems.

By properly maintaining and caring for your sewage system you are helping to protect lakes, rivers and streams, as well as ground water, which are vital resources to us all.

Permit application review and sewage system permits

Sewage system permits for all classes of systems are required for new installations except Class 1 systems (i.e. privies, outhouses). Permits are also required for sewage system replacements or modifications. Generally, three inspections are required for new systems.

Complaint investigations

Public health inspectors investigate all reported complaints regarding malfunctioning septic systems. When a malfunctioning system is confirmed, an order may be issued under Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code.

If you have a report of an illegal or malfunctioning septic system please call the Health Unit at 705.522.9200 or 1.866.522.9200 and speak to a public health inspector.

Additional planning services

The Health Unit offers additional planning services to both municipalities and individuals with regards to the OBC’s Part 8 requirements for suitability of sites. Public health inspectors also review Planning Act applications, and review the septic-related implications for severance and zoning applications.

To apply for a consent to sever a property or for a minor variance, fill out the Application for Consent for Severance or Minor Variance (PDF, < 1 MB) and submit it with the fee payment to the Sudbury & District Health Unit.

If you are renovating your property, please apply to:

Fill out the application and submit it with the fee payment to the Sudbury & District Health Unit.

How can I apply for a sewage system permit?

Permit applications can be obtained by contacting the Health Unit and are also available online.

Please note that Sudbury & District Health Unit sewage system inspectors are not permitted to assist applicants with design specifications regarding sewage system permit applications. Please contact a licensed sewage system designer and/or installer (found in local yellow pages) or refer to the Ontario Building Code for further information.

How can I attain a copy of my property’s sewage system records?

To attain a copy of septic records concerning your property, please fill out the following application and submit it with the fee payment to the Sudbury & District Health Unit:

If you would like to speak to a public health inspector, please contact the Health Unit at 705.522.9200 or toll-free at 1.866.522.9200.


This item was last modified on September 21, 2017