Kirby's Design and Inspection Services

Kirby Ryland, B. Tech, CET

Septic Design Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is a Septic System and what does it do?

    • A septic system is generally made up of two or more parts:

      • Septic Tank

      • Leaching field

    • Your septic system stores and treats sewage and grey water from your home before it is released back into nature and your local water table.


  • How much land is required for a septic system?

    • Semi service lot (Water source is off site)

      • 0.14 hectares or about 14 400 square feet

    • Full service lot (Water source is on the lot itself)

      • 0.2 hectares or about 20 000 square feet


  • How long does it take to have a sewer design completed and approved

    • After the site visit and testing of soil, approval is usually granted within two weeks


  • What is the separation distance between my well and the septic system?

    • The septic tank and absorption field has to be a minimum 100 feet from a natural water source or a dug well, and a 50 foot separation for a drilled well


  • I have a failing septic system but I don't meet the lot size requirements. What can I do?

    • The designer will work with Service NL to design a replacement system


  • What is protected roads and what if my property boundaries are within it?

    • Protected Roads is a 400 meter easement from the Trans Canada Highway. If you are within this 400 meters a preliminary application to develop land application has to be completed by you and submitted to Service NL. Contact Us if you need any assistance with this.


  • When is a new septic system design required?

    • When applying for crown land.

    • When applying to develop land.

    • When directed by Service NL.

    • May be required by lenders on lawyers.

    • When you replace a failing septic system.  


  • What size septic tank is required?

    • A minimum of 500 gallons by standard, but only 600 gallons tanks are available locally, if the dwelling is over three bedrooms a larger tank will be needed.    


  • Whats the difference between the white and green pipe?

  • The green pipe is road grade and is used where there may be a load on the surface.


  • When installing my septic system, where do I call for the inspection?

  • Call Service NL 643-8651, 643-8652, five working days before the install. The septic system can not be back filled until inspection is completed by Service NL.


  • When can I apply for an Electrical permit?

    • An electrical permit can be obtained once the sewer design is approved and an approval certificate is issued to the home owner.


  • How long do I have to install the septic system once the design process is completed and I have the certificate of approval?

    • 2 years with a possible extension of one year, unless otherwise instructed by Service NL.


  • What other information is required at the site visit?

    • Completed Application to develop land.

    • Floor plan of dwelling

    • Property Dimensions


  • Can an ocean outfall be used in place of an absorption field?
    • Ocean outfalls can be used if they are common in the area and soil conditions are unsuitable for an absorption field

  • Can an ocean outfall be shared?
    • Yes, provided you have written consent and your own septic tank per CSA standards

  • Who is responsible to arrange a backhoe or excavator for the soil tests?
    • The applicant is responsible for the cost of rental and arranging a contractor to be on site during the time of soil testing. I will provide a list of contractors/equipment owners who would be available for hire.

  • Who submits the preliminary application to develop land?
    • These can be fulled out by the applicant and submitted to Service NL by the applicant or for a fee, I can act as your agent and submit the completed form along with all required documents and and any additional documents requested by service NL