The municipality of Dysart et al has completed the Area 1 Septic Re-Inspection Program and issued a summary report of the results in the in the Dysart Council Agenda for the January 26, 2021 Council meeting. The report can be found here SEPTIC REPORT LINK
Completion of the Septic Inspection Program is good news for our Kennisis Community and for our water quality. The program was planned for 2018 and 2019 and during that period 759 inspections were completed. A significant number of property owners did not comply with the mandatory inspection requirement and were ordered to complete the inspection in 2020. In 2020, 134 additional properties were inspected.
Only 4 properties remain uninspected and legal action is being commenced by Dysart et al against the property owners for non-compliance with the By-law.
Several things stand out in the Dysart report:
• 893 systems were inspected – The Kennisis Lakes have ~950 dwellings. That represents a good portion of the properties, recognizing that some properties were exempt.
• 229 Septic Systems failed during the inspection program or 26%. That’s a big number. Finding and correcting that many issues with the septic systems should be considered a success.
• There were more “major issues” than “minor issues” identified during the program. This was consistent over the three years.
• 158 Septic Systems had “Major Issue Failures” or 18% of all Systems inspected. Again, a very large number for major issues with septic systems.
• Of the major failure types 128/201 or 63% were due to under capacity septic systems. This suggests that there have been a significant number of property re-developments or additions without permits.
The 2020 data shows that the failure rate was still the average for the delayed inspections. The 2020 data is for properties that did not comply with the 2018-2019 program timeline. One might assume that the 2020 number might be higher if owners were delaying the inspection if they expected issues. However, the number could have been skewed downwards since Dysart did not require a pump out in 2020. That may be reflected in the lower number of “major issues” found in 2020 compared to 2018/2019 data where some major issues would have been missed in 2020 without the pump out.
Additional data that would be useful includes:
• Provide independent data for Big Kennisis and Little Kennisis. This may help to shed some light on the higher nutrient loading in Kittle Kennisis (higher P) and the Blue Green Algae event in 2020.
• How many septic systems were replaced and how many on each lake? Again, if the future measured nutrient loading on Little Kennisis slows or reduces, we can point to the success of the program.
• For the 2020 data – how many Level 4 inspections were performed. This will help to understand the lower “major issue” rate, or not.
The KLCOA is planning to ask Dysart for some of this data as we try to understand the reasons for the higher nutrients in Little Kennisis and develop strategies to help the property owners protect our water quality and reduce the possibility of future Blue Green Algae events in our lakes.
SEPTIC REINSPECTION BY THE NUMBERS
Dysart Septic Inspection Program Data for Area 1 – Kennisis Lakes