On-site Sewage System (Septic) Permits

1.  Application Screening

NBMCA staff review applications to confirm that the proposed work complies with Part 8 of the Building Code and other applicable law as set out in the Building Code, such as local zoning by-laws. Applications may be discussed with other local/municipal officials for comments.  A screening of the application will determine if all of the requested information has been provided by the applicant.  The screening of the application is not a technical review, it is a cursory review.  Permit applications can be downloaded online, and are available at both the North Bay and Parry Sound NBMCA offices in addition to Township and Municipal offices.

2.  Preliminary Site Inspection

It is the applicant/owner’s responsibility to schedule/request the inspection when the application is complete and the site is ready.  Inspectors have a schedule for when they visit each municipality or area. The location of property lines and all proposed sewage system components should be clearly marked out on the site.  Inspection test hole(s) must be excavated in the proposed location of the sewage system and are to be 1.5 metres in depth or to rock/hardpan/high groundwater table. Test holes should be dug in order to accurately assess the area of the septic system and receiving soils in the area of the leaching bed.

3. Technical Review & Site Inspection

Following the successful completion of a site evaluation inspection and receipt of a completed application, a technical review of the application will be carried out within the 10 working day time frame outlined in the Ontario Building Code.

4.  Permit

Following the technical review and site evaluation inspection, the application may be approved, and once the Permit is issued, construction of the on-site sewage system may begin.

5. Inspections

Once the permit has been issued and the construction has begun, two subsequent site inspections are required to complete a permitting process:

Substantial Completion Inspection

Prior to a request for a second inspection (substantial completion inspection), the following information must be submitted to the NBMCA:

  • A grain size analysis (filter graph, if applicable) ; and.
  • Any maintenance agreements associated with the sewage system.

Once the above-mentioned documents have been submitted and when the sewage system has been installed, prior to the backfilling of the components the substantial completion inspection will be undertaken.  The following components must be fully exposed and/or present and/or operational prior to scheduling an inspection:

  • Tank stamp and lids.  (The Tank can be backfilled as long as the stamp is exposed.  The lids should be unscrewed to permit the inspection of the filter and baffle.)
  • Distribution box and/or header
  • All distribution pipes exposed
  • Stake the contact area
  • Geotextile or untreated building paper on-site
  • Pumps, pump chamber and alarms installed and operational
  • Septic stone should be clean
  • Mantle should be completed (if applicable)

 Final Grading Inspection

The Final Grading Inspection occurs when the construction of the sewage system is complete. This inspection will be requested by owner/installer once the grading is complete, the mantle has been covered with topsoil, and the growth of shallow-rooted vegetation covers a minimum of 60% of the sewage system. In addition to the 60% vegetation cover, NBMCA staff will be verifying that the septic tank outlet lid is at grade and exposed and that the slope of the ground in the area of the leaching bed does not exceed the maximum slope of 4:1 (25%).

For substantial completion and final inspections, please email request/notification along with any applicable documents (filter graph, sieve analysis, maintenance agreements, etc.) to septic.northbay@nbmca.ca for properties in Nipissing and East Parry Sound and septic.parrysound@nbmca.ca for properties in West Parry Sound.

6. Notice of Completion

A Notice of Completion will be issued once all inspections are successfully complete.

On-site Sewage System permits expire 12 months from the date of issue, but may be extended at the request of the permit holder and after a review at the discretion of the I-CBO-SS.

7.  Appeals

If a permit is refused, and you can’t resolve the problems with NBMCA, you have several avenues of appeal. If the problem relates to technical requirements set out in the Building Code, you may apply to the Building Code Commission.  I with full reasons for denial, an appeal can be made to the Building Code Commission.  If it is refused by the Commission, an appeal can be made to the Superior Court of Justice.


Upon North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) receiving a correct and complete application for an On-site Sewage System Permit, an inspector from NBMCA will, within seven working days, visit the site, review the proposal and make a recommendation.  The overall timeline within which a permit is issued or refused by NBMCA is 10 working days, as defined in the Ontario Building Code,

Fees and Payment

On-site sewage system program services and fees are outlined on the Fee Schedule.

NBMCA Offices are open to the public. Payments can be made by Visa, Mastercard, AMEX or debit over the phone or in person,  by cheque in the mail or dropped off at our North Bay and Parry Sound offices. We’re sorry e-transfer is not an option at this time.

How to Submit Your Application

Application forms are available online (at the link in the right sidebar).  You can mail it to or drop it off at our North Bay office, 15 Janey Ave., North Bay, ON P1C 1N1 or our Parry Sound Office, 69 Bowes St., Parry Sound P2A 2L5.  You can also submit by email to the North Bay office septic.northbay@nbmca.ca or Parry Sound office septic.parrysound@nbmca.ca

What you'll need

Here's what you'll need to file your application:

  • Applicant and landowner (if different from applicant) contact information
  • Contact information for an agent, such as a designer, contractor or installer, if applicable
  • Address of the proposed work
  • Completed application form which details:
    • Purpose of application (new, addition, alternation/repair, demolition)
    • Site evaluation
    • Design criteria (fixtures, flow calculations)
    • Two copies of the site plan and cross-section drawings
    • Letter of authorization from the legal property owner if not the applicant
  • Payment of the appropriate fee in accordance with the current Fee Schedule must be submitted with the application.

For application forms and fee schedule visit Application Forms & Fees section of the website or the links on the sidebar at right. 

Septic Applications & Queries for Nipissing District and East Parry Sound District Municipalities Listed Below Contact our North Bay Office:


East Ferris
East Mills
North Bay
South River
West Nipissing

Septic Applications & Queries for West Parry Sound District Municipalities Listed Below Contact our Parry Sound Office:


East Burpee
Parry Sound