Photo of McClintock Septage Lagoon

Ever wonder what happens to the wastewater that's pumped from your septic tank?  If so, read on!

What is Septage?

The technical term for the wastewater that is pumped from your septic tank or holding tank is 'septage' or 'hauled sewage'. Wastewater in the home comes from toilets, showers, bathtubs, sinks and laundry facilities, and is made up of both solids and liquids.

In a septic tank, bacteria start to break down the solids through a process of anaerobic decomposition, forming a build-up of sludge on the bottom of the tank.  When the sludge accumulates so that the tank is 1/3 full, it needs to be pumped out.  But where does it go?

How is it Disposed?

In Algonquin Highlands, septic haulers have two methods for disposing of septage:

  • disposal at an approved site on privately owned land (e.g. land application or private treatment facility), or
  • dumping into the municipally owned McClintock Septage Lagoon. 

What is a Septage Lagoon?

A septage lagoon is a man-made pond that retains wastewater in order to allow it to be further stabilized beyond the anaerobic decomposition that occurs in your septic tank.  This is necessary in order to reduce the volume of the sludge in the lagoon, as well a reduce the number of pathogens in it.

Lagoons are usually 1 to 2.5 metres deep and are full of hard working microorganisms that break down the gases, organic material and accumulated solids.  Bacteria are responsible for the majority of the activity in a lagoon system, through both aerobic and anaerobic processes. 

Proper operation of a lagoon includes the disposal of the stabilized liquid and the treatment, removal and proper disposal of the sludge that accumulates over time in the bottom of the lagoon.

The stabilized liquids can be disposed of through several methods including:

  • Exfiltration
  • Spray irrigation
  • Direct discharge
  • Discharge to a municipal treatment plant

Sludges generated in septage lagoons can be dewatered, stabilized and disposed of in a number of ways including at approved composting facilities, landfill sites, or applied to approved land application sites. 

McClintock Septage Lagoon

The Township of Algonquin Highlands owns and operates one septage lagoon: the McClintock Septage Lagoon, located in the geographic township of McClintock.  It is available for year-round use, although it is typically used from April to November.  

Haulers wishing to use the McClintock Lagoon require approval from Council.  Information on the Hauled Sewage Program and a registration form are available in the Documents section, below.  If you'd like more information on the process, please contact the Township office.

Contact Information

Mike Thomas
Operations Manager
Phone: 705-489-2379
E-mail: mthomas@algonquinhighlands.ca

Documents

Comprehensive Fees & Charges By-law 2015-74
Hauled Sewage By-law 2014-39
Hauled Sewage Program Information & Hauler Registration Application