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Septic Systems

Septic systems are privately owned and are not connected to municipal sewer lines. Therefore, the owner of a septic system is responsible for the care or maintenance of their system as well ensuring that it is in compliance with all rules and regulations. By taking proper care of your septic system, you will ensure that it remains effective and efficient for the life of the system while optimizing its longevity.

The following links provide some helpful hints for operating and maintaining your septic system.

Inspections and Permits

For inspections and permits, the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority was designated under the Ontario Building Code (OBC-1997) to conduct inspections and issue sewage system permits across the Nipissing District and defined areas within the Parry Sound District. This includes the area surrounding Trout Lake.

In addition, building permits may be required from the City of North Bay’s Building Services. To determine if you require a building permit contact Building Services

Trout Lake Septic Pumpout

Trout Lake is an important resource of the City and its neighbouring communities. The lake is the sole source of drinking water for the City of North Bay’s municipal water distribution system. In addition, Trout Lake is the source of drinking water for the private water systems of hundreds of homes located on the lake. The City of North Bay deems it necessary to protect the health of the lake from any impacts from septic systems located adjacent to Trout Lake or its tributaries.

Through By-Law 2014-054, the City of North Bay requires that septic systems on properties which front on the shore of Trout Lake or which are on a natural watercourse which leads into Trout Lake be pumped-out at least once every three (3) years for permanent residences and once every five (5) years for seasonal residences (used less than twelve weeks per year). Proof of pump-out must be provided no more than 30 days after pump-out and before September 30 of every third (3) year or every fifth (5) year if it is deemed a seasonal property.

Why every 3 years? Best practices suggested by the Ministry of the Environment of Ontario and by the operating and maintenance guidelines of most suppliers of septic systems suggest that the system’s septic tanks be pumped out every three (3) to five (5) years depending on their use for optimum performance of the septic system.

In general, this timeline has been set due to the fact that septic systems typically need to be emptied in this time period to prevent them from exceeding their holding capacity. If a septic tank is not emptied frequently enough, the holding cell for solids may reach its capacity and overflow, leading to the seepage of sewage into nearby watercourses. These situations could have detrimental effects on the quality of North Bay’s drinking water and the health of the lake.

To check if the by-law applies to your property, refer to the tab located below entitled, “Does This Apply to My Property”, where a PDF map highlights affected properties. Download Bylaw 2014-054 and refer to Schedule A.

Proof of Pump-Out

In accordance to By-Law 2014-054, the City of North Bay requires that the properties identified in the pump-out compliance map must provide proof of pump-out every three years (or five years if it a seasonal property that is used less than 12 weeks a year).
By-Law 2014-054

In order to confirm that your property is in compliance, submit the receipt from the company that completed your pump-out and complete the Proof of Pump-out document, which can be found below.
Proof of Pump-out Form

To submit proof of pump-out and receipt from the pumping, either mail the necessary paperwork to:
Environmental Services: City of North Bay
200 McIntyre St. East
North Bay, Ontario, Canada
P1B 8V6

Or forward them via email to

Certificates of Compliance

If you require a certificate of compliance to prove that your septic tank is in compliance with this by-law, use the following form. 
Septic System Compliance Enquiry Form