CRD Takes Lead On Septic System Maintenance

Apr 09, 2008

Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional District has adopted Bylaw 3479 to ensure proper maintenance of septic systems within the four municipalities of Langford, Colwood, Saanich, and View Royal.

Inadequate maintenance is the number one reason for septic system failure and this new program is the most cost effective measure to prevent system failures. Failing septic systems result in significant public health risks and environmental degradation. Specifically, they cause contamination of groundwater and local streams, rivers and lakes, as well as contamination of shellfish beds and nutrient enrichment of sensitive water bodies.

The new maintenance program was developed by an advisory group of municipal councilors, private sector haulers and installers, community members at large, the Vancouver Island Health Authority and Ministry staff after carefully evaluating available options from 2001 until 2005.

“The CRD is taking the lead on protecting our local environment,” explains Seamus McDonnell, CRD Senior Manager Environmental Services. “By ensuring that septic systems are regularly maintained, the CRD is protecting local water quality and ensuring a clean environment.”

With the adoption of the bylaw new requirements will be mandatory for household owners with septic systems.

For further information please visit Onsite Septic Systems.

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For further information please contact:
Seamus McDonnell
Capital Regional District Senior Manager Environmental Services
625 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1R7



  • The province required the CRD, through its Core Liquid Waste Management Plan, to develop and implement a management program for onsite sewage systems to prevent the environmental degradation and health risks associated with poorly maintained septic systems.

  • Municipalities falling under the Core Liquid Waste Management Plan area will be affected by the newly adopted bylaw including Colwood, Saanich, View Royal and Langford.

Mandatory requirements for home owners with septic systems:

  • Type 1 Septic System: Septic Tank & Field: Required to pump out their tanks by the end of 2010 and every 5 years thereafter.

  • Type 2 or 3 Septic Systems: Package Treatment Plan: Required to have their systems maintained by a professional by the end of

    2009, and annually thereafter.

  • Home owners should keep their receipts as they will need to be sent into the CRD as proof of compliance.

  • Home owners who pumped out their tanks since 2007 or later can show their receipts to the CRD, and will be able to pump 5 years after their last pump date.

  • Costs associated with adoption of Bylaw:

    • Annual Parcel Tax will be approximately $25 in order to cover costs of
      implementing,administrating and enforcing the program.

    • Pump-out cost: $200 - $500 and will depend on the size of your tank.

    • Inspection costs vary greatly.

      • Inspections are recommended as they provide a full report of the state of the
        septic system.

      • The Provincial Sewerage System Regulation prohibits owners of sewerage
        systems from causing or contributing to “health hazards” (discharge of sewage into a source of drinking water, surface waters, tidal water, or onto land).

  • All citizens pay for some sort of sewage system maintenance – whether septic or sewer.