Georgian Bay Preservation Alliance calls on Manitoulin municipalities to implement mandatory septic inspection

GEORGIAN BAY—The Georgian Bay Preservation Alliance (GBA) is calling on area municipalities to support their call for a mandatory septic inspection program for all cottages on Georgian Bay.

“The GBA agrees that it is in all Georgian Bay residents’ and visitors’ best interests to ensure that cottage septic systems are installed properly and well maintained,” states a letter sent to area municipalities including the Northeast Town. “The primary responsibility for proper maintenance of septic systems rests with the contractor with oversight by the local municipality. The primary responsibility for proper maintenance of septic systems rests with the property owner with oversight by the local municipality. On the latter, amendments have been made to the Ontario Building Code through Ontario Regulation 315/10 requiring the establishment of mandatory ‘one-site sewage system’ inspection programs by municipalities where there is a source water protection plan in place. Through our involvement on the South Georgian Bay—Lake Simcoe Source Protection Committee we are aware that the jurisdictions in that area combine their inspection programs with property owner education on septic system maintenance.”

The letter goes on to state that while there is no source protection plan in place in any of the municipalities along the eastern and northern shores of Georgian Bay, “we believe that each of these municipalities should have septic inspection programs in place combined with a property owner education program.”

The Northeast Town sent the letter back to the GBA noting that the Sudbury District Health Unit oversees septic systems in the area.

Ward 1 (the islands) Councillor Laurie Cook said that she wasn’t in support of the request from the GBA as she felt that a mandatory inspection would be a violation of individual’s privacy.

“It is our drinking water (in Ward 1), so I would like to think that people are careful as it is their drinking water source,” said Councillor Cook. “Council was in support of the educational element and will be linking the GBA website on the town’s website.”

To learn more about the GBA and their septic inspection efforts, visit