Septic Systems Update

April 5, 2020

Prior to the State of Emergency declaration by Band Council, we received concerns raised by cottage owners about the discrepancy between what was written in the 2020 Lands Management brochure (which came with our Service Fee invoice) and our previous understanding of what would be acceptable to the Band by the time new leases would be issued.

Current Situation

The brochure clearly stated that septic system upgrades needed to be complete before new leases would be issued. Our understanding was that as long as cottagers had a plan approved by the Band and Indigenous Services Canada AND they had a contract with one of the Band’s approved contractors, they would be considered eligible for lease renewal.


Clarification from SFN

SCOI wrote to Kirk Roote asking for clarification on this apparent discrepancy.

This is his reply:

“We will work as hard as we can to meet the deadline and get as far as we can, but for those who have refused to do anything I will not guarantee anything for them. We have 1250 leases, and in 2021  I should be able to look at my database and see either

  • approved systems,
  • approved reports or
  • pending permits.

I should have no cottage with a question mark.

Kirk Roote

Manager, Lands Management Office, Saugeen First Nation

In Summary

Haven't Begun the Process?

For those who have not begun the process, you have less than a year to get yourself into one of the categories described by Kirk. Based on his tone, ‘running out of time’ will not likely be an acceptable excuse.

For a list of contractors approved by the band, click here.


Already Booked a Contractor?

There is no issue for those who have booked a contractor and have expressed concern the work will not be done by May1, 2021.

You  are clearly on the waiting list and will have your approvals in time.

The physical upgrade of your system may have to wait until your contractor can get to it. Some contractors have installations booked out to 2023.

From this, we can assume that the understanding we had prior to the arrival of the brochure was correct.

And it is probably fair to assume there will be no new leases for those who choose to do nothing.

At this time, the contractors are not permitted to work on Band land, but that shouldn’t be a reason for cottage owners to ignore their responsibility to contact a contractor and get him/her lined up to make an inspection of their current system as soon as the State of Emergency is lifted. There is not enough capacity to get all these systems up to code by May1, 2021. But it is obvious that Kirk believes there is enough time and capacity for everyone to end up in one of the three categories he describes above.

Bringing septic systems up to code has been underway for over 3 years. 

If you have not taken action, now is the time.