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Constructing a Septic System

Thinking of constructing a new sewage system on your property? Before you start, here is a guide to help you through the project.

Planning Your Project

Before you begin, contact Service Barrie at 705-739-4242 or to ensure your project:

  • Complies with Zoning By-law section A for set-backs and lot coverage
  • Doesn’t require a permit from a local conservation authority
  • Is permitted at the intended location

The system needs to be designed by someone competent and knowledgeable, and installed by a licensed installer.

Call Before You Dig! Always contact Ontario One Call before you dig, even if it’s just with a shovel, to locate any underground cables or lines below the surface.

Completing Your Project

Permits: Apply for a building permit prior to starting any work. Note: Schedule 2 forms part of the permit application and is required to be completed for every septic/sewage system application by individuals who review and take responsibility for design activities with respect to the project in accordance with part 8 of the Ontario Building Code. When the permit is issued, construction can commence. This project requires a Sewage System Permit.

alertSave Time: Apply Online! Use APLI, our application tool for popular permits, to apply for your sewage system permit online 24/7.
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Inspections: Below are the commonly required inspectionsbased on permit type. There may be additional inspections required on a case-by-case basis. Visit the Building Inspections​ webpage for more information.

Inspection Required When to call
Base When base materials are installed
Backfill When pipes are installed and tank is located in the correct position
Final When all pipes and tanks are buried and grading is complete

Septic System Contacts

System Type Contact
Septic Systems greater than 10,000 litres/day Ministry of Environment and Climate Change
Septic system installations or alterations or complaints about unsafe conditions for systems older than one year with a capacity of less than 10,000 litres/day

Service Barrie

Complaints about unsafe conditions for systems older than one year and with a capacity of less than 10,000 litres/day

Wastewater Treatment Facility
(705) 739-4221

Frequently Asked Questions

Who inspects the construction of septic systems?

Building Services inspects the construction and alterations of septic systems.

The yard is wet and smells of sewage in the area of the septic system. Why?

This may be the result of a failed septic system that could pose an unsafe condition. Notify Building Services in writing. Building Services will investigate and take necessary action to ensure the system is repaired. A licensed installer or repairperson should be called to evaluate the situation and effect repairs.

Does the City have a re-inspection program to ensure septic systems continue to operate correctly?

Yes, the City has initiated a program to ensure existing septic systems operate as they should.

Do I need a permit to install a new, or alter an existing septic system?

Yes, the construction of septic systems requires a permit under the Ontario Building Code. The system needs to be designed by someone competent and knowledgeable and installed by a licensed installer. Please contact Building Services for more information.

Are there areas in Barrie where septic systems are not permitted?

The City’s zoning bylaws specify the areas where septic systems are still permitted.

What if I build a septic system without a permit?

If we find that you have built without a permit, you will be required to apply for a permit, at which time a surcharge will be placed on the cost of the building permit. You will also be required to uncover any portion required to be inspected.

How far from the property line, buildings, wells and other site features do I have to be?

Ontario Building Code sections and set out specific clearance distances to the septic system components. Contact Service Barrie at (705) 739-4242 for more information.

Can I design and construct my own on-site sewage system without professional help?

Yes, you will be required to submit a completed design with all of the calculations used to arrive at the final design.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is meant for guiding purposes only. Individual home renovation projects vary in scope and may require additional steps to ensure proper completion. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure work conforms to any restrictive covenants, caveats or other restrictions that are registered on the land title. The information above has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Barrie accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically.

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