Sewage systems: application for a permit to build, repair, or change a system
Treat your septic system with respect. Pump your septic tank out a minimum of once every 2 to 3 years.
Whether you are building, repairing, or changing a sewage system, you will need to apply for a permit.
The permit approval process
When you submit your application, one of our sewage inspectors will review it to make sure that it is complete before accepting the application. Once your application has been accepted, the inspector will review the application to make sure the design meets the Ontario Building Code requirements. The inspector will also conduct a site inspection to make sure that the details on the application are accurate. If the application meets the Ontario Building Code requirements, Public Health Sudbury & Districts will issue a permit.
Please note: You cannot start any construction before receiving your approved permit.
The steps to submit an application:
1. Completing an application
- Class 1 (outhouse or privy): Exempt from the permit process, no application necessary
- Class 2 leaching pit: Sewage system application, (fillable PDF < 1 MB) (printable PDF <1 MB)
- Class 4 and 5: Residential (dwellings) sewage system application, (fillable PDF < 1 MB) (printable PDF <1 MB)
- Class 4 and 5: Non-residential occupancies sewage system application, (fillable PDF < 1 MB) (printable PDF <1 MB)
Examples of a class 4 sewage system are:
- typical trench details, PDF < 1 MB
- typical raised leaching bed, PDF < 1 MB
- typical raised filter bed, PDF < 1 MB
- leaching beds of sand filter (example 1 and example 2), PDF < 1 MB
Please note: Before submitting an application please review the information package for a sewage system permit (PDF < 1 MB). There are important instructions in this document on how to complete the application properly. There is also a fee schedule that determines the cost of the sewage system permit application process. This fee covers the screening, issuing the permit, the inspection process, and the granting a certificate of approval.
2. Screening applications
A sewage inspector will review the application to determine if it contains all of the required information. If the application is complete, it will be accepted and processed for review by a public health inspector (this does not mean the permit is approved yet). Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.
Note: Under the Ontario Building Code, public health inspectors are not permitted to help applicants determine the design specifications that are required for their type of sewage system. Please contact a licensed sewage system designer or installer (look in local directories) or review the Ontario Building Code for more information.
3. Initial site inspection and application review
Once an application is accepted, it will be reviewed and the public health inspector will conduct a site inspection. For the site inspection, the location of property lines and all proposed sewage system components must be clearly marked out on the site. Test holes must be excavated in the proposed location of the sewage system. The site inspection and application review will assess the application for:
- compliance with the Ontario Building Code and Building Code Act
- compliance with any applicable by-laws
- completeness of design
If the public health inspector determines that the design does not meet Ontario Building Code requirements, the applicant will be advised of the issue(s). The applicant will need to amended their application and resubmit it.
4. Issuing permits
If your application is approved, you will be issued a permit. You will get copies of the sewage system permit, which authorizes the installation of an on-site sewage system. You must post a copy of the permit in a visible location on the site before constructing the sewage system.
Once a permit has been issued, construction can begin. Further inspections will be required to complete the process and to approve your septic system once a permit is issued.
This item was last modified on March 3, 2023