Performance Realty
Brokerage, Independently Owned and Operated


Barb Reynolds
Jenn Reynolds
Sales Representative

Rural Estates

Country Living

Prelisting Inspection

Well and Septic


Wells and Septic Systems

While sewers and municipal water are something taken for granted in a city subdivision, many rural lots do not have access to city water and sewer systems.  Homeowners must rely on wells for their household and drinking water and septic systems for their wastewater.   

Many city dwellers will have a fear of drinking well water, while those who live in rural areas know that as long as the water is routinely tested, and the well maintained, the water is perfectly safe for drinking, and usually has less additives than municipal water.   

Septic systems as well function without much upkeep, as long as they are properly maintained.  Both wells and septic systems are costly to replace, so ensuring that they are checked and running efficiently is a necessity.  Both can last for many years if properly maintained.  For in depth information on wells and septic systems check out the CMHC website:


Do you know what kind of a well you have? Dug, bored or drilled? Or perhaps a sand point? 

A large 48" well with 60" concrete casing. A casing is used to protect this sand point.

When looking into the efficiency of your well water,  it’s not only the well system itself to consider, but the quality and quantity of water also. 

Here’s a checklist of things to do prior to listing your home for sale:

  • Have a water test done. If it does not come back as 0 cauliforms - 0 e-coli, do it again until 3 samples, 1 week apart come back clear.

  • Consider having a well inspection done. That way if there is a problem with the water or the well, it can be looked after prior to listing and there will be no surprises during a buyers inspection- or the repair costs can be taken into consideration when pricing your home. ( you can check the phone book, internet or look under our “Trusted Advisors” for Water Testing and Well Drilling companies)

  • Find the well record ( if you do not have one, contact the Ministry of the Environment to obtain a copy) and the well permit

  • Look for the well cap and clear away any vegetation from it. The current standard is for the cap to be 12” above ground.

  • Are there any abandoned wells on a property- and have they been decommissioned (plugged) by a licensed well contractor?

  • If you have a water softener or water treatment system, look at your old receipts to ensure that they are owned and not rented- or if the system is rented, find out if it can be discharged

  • Are there any new developments or rezoning in the area that might affect the water table?

  • Have you made any recent repairs to the well or pump and do you have the receipts?

Septic Systems

It’s always first thing in the spring when we know where the septic tank is, because that’s the ground we see first! Most people are used to having sewers to take away and treat waste. Septic systems do pretty much the same thing, but they treat the sewage right in the yard and then allow the treated water to go back into the ground water.  Septic systems can seem a daunting thing for those who have been true city dwellers, and though we have seen systems that were 40 years old and worked well, we’ve also seen ones at 12 years old needing to be replaced.  So if you are buying a home- spend the extra to have a septic inspection done. It’s also a good idea to have it done before selling your home so that you know if anything is wrong right away. The best time to do it? Summer to fall, when the ground is not frozen.

Some septic tank lids are below ground and will require some digging to access.

Before putting your home for sale, here are some of the things to do:

  • Look through old documents from when you purchased to see what kind of a system you have- conventional, holding tank or other?

  • Is there a septic drawing, a use permit and inspection certificate?

  • When was the last time the tank was pumped?

  • Do you know where the tank is or the access risers are?

  • Are there large trees/ shrubs growing where the field where the roots might be interfering with the pipes?

  • If you have a water treatment device like a water softener, ensure it does not empty into the septic. We’ve seen several systems ruined in just a couple of years by doing this.- fix leaky faucets, ensure downspouts are directed away from the field, watch for anything that might cause extra water to be discharging into the septic, and direct it away

  • Check showers and toilets. Do they drain well or do they back up frequently and take longer to fill?

  • Take a walk over the field. Does it feel spongy, is there pooling water with grey/black liquid? If so, you need to have it inspected. Don’t ignore the warning signs!

Septic systems do not require a lot of upkeep but you should exercise caution as to what you are dumping down the drain. Most soaps, detergents and cleaners can be used safely, but overusing disinfectants, cleaning paint brushes, or paint thinners can kill the bacteria in the tank, making it useless. As well, think to yourself  “will this break down easily?”  Even things like paper towels, grease and coffee grounds can affect the septic system. The use of garburators are generally not advised unless provisions have been made to accommodate it.  Keep heavy things off the septic field/ tile bed- no driving snowmobiles / parking over the bed, no sheds/ concrete pads.

 For more information, go to CMHC’s website: 


Tel: (613) 238-2801
Toll Free: 1-877-757-7386
Fax: (613) 238-458
165 Pretoria Ave.
Ottawa, Ontario
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