Septic Systems

There are currently, in 2016, approximately 5000 septic systems within the territory of Sherbrooke. The territory is divided in half: sector A and B.

A Resident's Guide to Septic Systems (PDF - 7.7 MB) (7.5 MB)

Reading this guide will help you better understand your septic system. It will provide answers to the following questions:

  • How can I improve the operating performance of my septic system?
  • How do I make the emptying process simple and efficient?
  • What are the early signs of problems with a septic system?

Septic system emptying date

The emptying service provided by the Ville de Sherbrooke includes emptying your septic system every two years. Please consult the online tool, and type in your address to learn when your septic system will be emptied next. This tool is updated once a year in May.

Info-septic line: 819-821-5858 (service available in French only)

A "Info-septic" telephone line provides general information about septic systems, including emergency emptying, requests for cancellation and summary audits. With this telephone service, you can even speak to a technician if required. Call: 819-821-5858.

Uncovering the covers: There’s no way around it!

Since 2011, the municipality no longer makes sure that septic tank covers have been cleared off. Septic tank owners must ensure their covers are exposed by the date the tank is scheduled for emptying—otherwise the Ville de Sherbrooke will fine the owner, as stipulated in the city’s by-laws.

Tank emptying while you’re away

Your prolonged absence does not allow you to postpone the date of your septic tank emptying. If the date is set for a time when you’re away, make sure the septic tank cover is accessible. You will be charged additional costs if the truck has to return at a later date because your tank wasn’t accessible.

Summary inspection

Each year, between May and August, septic systems being emptied are checked by a Ville de Sherbrooke employee. The visual inspections are required to ensure that waste water isn’t leaking from your septic system into the environment.

These summary inspections look for potential problems, such as overflow from the tank near the covers, spongy soil near the surface, unusually abundant grass near the purifying part of the system, and waste water flowing to the ditch.

Any such problems are communicated to the Ville de Sherbrooke building inspector who then follows up with the property owner to ensure the problems are fixed.