Dysart to check septics in spring
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | November 9, 2017|
While several questions remain unanswered, Dysart’s environment and conservation committee recently hashed out some details surrounding the municipality’s septic reinspection program.
Slated to begin next spring, the program will likely begin with properties on Kennisis and Little Kennisis Lake, according to Karl Korpela, Dysart’s chief building official.
From there, the inspections will continue southward towards other lakes including Redstone.
Inspecting the more than 500 properties on Kennisis lakes, however, will take approximately two years to complete, said Korpela.
He estimated the inspection will take about 10 years to complete across the municipality.
Korpela was also tasked with drafting a new bylaw that will allow the Dysart staff and its partner company, ASI Water, to enter private properties and inspect septics. The draft will be prepared prior to Dysart’s next council meeting Nov. 20. ASI Water is also helping Dysart with its Schedule C Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study exploring septic treatment options.
Committee chair Dennis Casey, stressed the importance of raising awareness about septic systems prior to the inspections.
“We will blindside a lot of people I’m sure,” he said.
ASI Water building and septic inspector, Greg Cherniak, who was at the meeting, said it’s no secret many people in the county are likely labelling bedrooms in their homes as offices or storage rooms, referring to a recent survey prepared by the Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners’ Associations (CHA), to get away with a smaller septic system.
The survey was handed out to Dysart residents this past spring. Aging septics that need to be repaired or replaced are also a concern.
“There are problems everywhere,” said Cherniak, adding staffing is also an issue. There are currently three hired inspectors lined up to perform inspections.
Korpela explained that the bylaw is strictly for staff to inspect the septic systems on private property. Any issues found with the systems themselves will fall under the municipality’s building codes.
The idea of using the CHA’s data on the county’s lakes and their Blue Green Algae Bloom levels to prioritize inspections was briefly suggested, but quickly shot down when committee members concluded the association hadn’t inspected enough of the lakes in the municipality to paint a full picture.
The organization has analyzed 72 lakes, more than 13,000 properties and 1,000 km of shoreline. The committee’s next meeting will be Dec. 7.
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.