FOCA in the News: Septic Discharge Letter to MOECC

December 2015 – See this summary of the response from MOECC to FOCA’s concerns about the discharge of commercial septic wastes to surface waters, and the spreading of untreated septic wastes on land in cottage country.


October 2015 – Following a letter written by FOCA to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association (OOWA) wrote about FOCA in OnTrack, their Member Bulletin.

Download a PDF of the Bulletin, or read the article below:

OOWA – OnTrack – Collaboration Update – October 2015
Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations’ Letter to the MOECC

OOWA and the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) work hard to educate onsite wastewater treatment system owners about the importance of ongoing maintenance and management of their systems. The protection of freshwater resources is a paramount priority for OOWA and FOCA and both associations are actively engaged with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) on issues pertaining to onsite systems.

magnifying glassAs part of the ongoing collaboration and information sharing between OOWA and FOCA, FOCA’s executive director, Terry Rees, included OOWA President, Rick Esselment, on an October 2015 letter to the MOECC regarding a situation in the Muskoka region. A resort in the area was given permission by the MOECC to discharge septic effluent directly into an adjacent lake and had been doing so for a period of time. Members of the Muskoka Lakes Association brought this to FOCA’s attention. FOCA responded by requesting an explanation from the MOECC as this activity is contrary to MOECC policy and best practices in protecting surface water quality. OOWA thanks Terry for including us in this communication with the MOECC.

OOWA is very concerned about this situation and any other case where septic effluent is discharged directly into surface waters -whether permitted or not. OOWA is also concerned that by permitting this activity, the MOECC is setting a dangerous precedent and sending a confusing message to all other onsite system owners who invest time, effort and money in managing their systems in accordance with service contracts, permits and generally accepted best practices.

OOWA looks forward to hearing back from FOCA regarding the MOECC’s response and will update the membership when a response is received.

Please read Terry’s letter. 

Michelle LewinFOCA in the News: Septic Discharge Letter to MOECC