Septic Maintenance Bylaw 3479

Ensuring septic systems are well maintained will help protect our local water quality.

When septic systems malfunction, untreated or partially treated wastewater can be exposed. Untreated wastewater carries dangerous viruses and pathogens that can result in illness and pollution in our community. Malfunctioning septic systems cause contamination of groundwater and local streams, rivers and lakes, as well as contamination of shellfish beds and nutrient enrichment of sensitive water bodies.

Lack of maintenance, such as regular pump-outs, is the number one cause of system failure.

Following the bylaw is simple, and will help protect the marine receiving environment and groundwater supplies in our region from contamination.

What are the requirements for homeowners under Bylaw 3479?

Homeowners with Type 1 Systems

The bylaw requires owners with Type 1 systems to have their septic tank pumped out at least once every five years. Five years is intended to be a maximum time frame. Some systems need more frequent pumping depending on the size of the tank and the conditions in the home.

The septage receiving facility will notify the CRD of your pump out, however owners are advised to keep their receipts as proof of service.

Homeowners with Type 2 or 3 Systems

Owners of Type 2 or Type 3 systems (often package treatment plants) are required to maintain their system according to the maintenance plan for the system, and ensure it is maintained by an Authorized Person at least once per calendar year. Owners should ensure their Authorized Person completes a Certification of Maintenance and sends it in to the CRD. Owners should keep a copy of this form, however, as proof of service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which municipalities fall under the Bylaw?

The CRD Septic Bylaw 3479 applies to homeowners who have septic systems in:

Interested in learning about the Provincial Regulations?

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Type 1 Systems

Type 1 is treatment by septic tank only whereby the sewage is held in the tank before heading into a drain field. It may be gravity fed or pumped into the drain field.

Type 2 & 3 Systems

Type 2 and Type 3 systems introduce further treatment in order to produce a higher quality effluent that can be discharged into a smaller drain field. Type 2 and Type 3 systems are often used where there are site or soil constraints that prevent a Type 1 from being used. These systems are often referred to as package treatment plants and they have mechanical and electrical parts that require more frequent maintenance.