Maintaining Your Septic System

Septic Re-Inspections:

The most critical practice for maintaining the health of your septic system is a regular inspection.  Bobs and Crow lakes are divided between 3 townships:  Tay Valley, Central Frontenac and South Frontenac.  Unlike Tay Valley and Central Frontenac, South Frontenac currently has neither a voluntary or mandatory septic re-inspection program available to landowners.  Bobs and Crow Lake Foundation (Click here for application form) is partnering with the Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office to offer subsidized inspections for South Frontenac residents:

  • South Frontenac:  cost of inspection is $95.   B&CLF will subsidize $75 for the first 40 approved re-inspections annually.
  • Central Frontenac:  Voluntary inspection program in place.  Total cost covered by township.
  • Tay Valley:  Mandatory inspection program in place.  Total cost covered by township. 

Application for an inspection fee subsidy: 

Interested landowners can contact Eric Kohlsmith, Septic Inspector, Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office, 10970 Highway 7, Carleton Place at 613-253-0006, Ext. 256 or email

How to Maintain your Septic system:

A malfunctioning septic system can negatively affect two of the highest
priorities of a cottage owner on Bobs and Crow lake: contaminate the  drinking water of your well plus that of your neighbours, and more seriously, pollute the lake.

Maintaining a functioning septic system does not require a lot of time, work, technical knowledge or significant investment if you follow some simple Do’s and Don’ts.


  • Inspect and pump out your septic tank every 3-5 years.   Excessive sludge build up at the bottom of the tank can dramatically reduce the efficiency of your system.

Pump outs every 3-5 years is recommended.

  • Protect the leaching bed
    from heavy traffic and no deep-rooted plants especially trees.
  • Reduce water usage and only use environmentally friendly products.  Special septic starter products or other additives to your septic system are generally not required.


  • Do not put anything into your toilet or drain that belongs in a garbage can, such as cooking
    grease and biodegradable materials.
  • Do not use beneficial bacteria killers such as bleach,
    no hazardous wastes or pharmaceutical products
  • Do not allow any poisons such as gas or solvents, to get into the dispersal system.

Visible water on the surface above the leaching bed is a sure sign of septic problems.

There are many warning signs of a failing septic system to watch out for. 

Any sewage that surfaces or any  soggy areas over the field are clear signs of a blockage or clogged leaching bed.   Inside the cottage any slow drains, toilets, sinks or noticable sewage odours could also indicate that the septic system is not operating properly.   

Remember that the number one source of preventable pollutants into a lake comes from leaking septic beds.


For a brochure on Septic Systems published by the Province of Ontario click here:

Brochure on Protecting your Septic System