skipped to

We are now accepting applications for the LaHave River Straight Pipe Replacement Program! All homes within the Wastewater Management District are required to prove that they do not have a straight pipe.

If you have a straight pipe, please complete the pdf LaHave River Straight Pipe Replacement Program application form (253 KB) .

If you have an approved system, complete the pdf Confirmation of Approved Septic System form (245 KB) .

If you aren't sure what you have, please complete the pdf Confirmation of Approved Septic System form (245 KB) .

Supplementary forms: pdf Additional Property Owners Document (146 KB)


There are an estimated 600 straight pipes putting raw sewage into the river and testing has shown that the level of fecal contamination exceeds federal standards for swimming or boating. The Municipality is committed to seeing a straight pipe free Lower LaHave River by 2023.

The Municipality has developed a Wastewater Management District, and all properties within the District are required to demonstrate the existence of approved systems. If an approved system is not in place, property owners would apply to the Municipality for the replacement of their straight pipe. MODL will manage the design and installation of an approved on-site septic system for the property.

The project is based on full cost recovery for the Municipality: any program costs not recoverable via federal and provincial grants will be recovered from property owners who benefit from the replacements. The majority, but not all of the program costs, are eligible for two-thirds cost sharing from the federal and provincial governments, resulting in the benefitting property owners contributing a little over one-third of the total project costs. The property owner will have up to seven years to pay off the cost. At the end of the seven years, ownership of the system will transfer to the property owner.

Properties are eligible if:

  • They are in the Wastewater Management District (see the pdf Wastewater Management District Map (897 KB) )
  • There is a straight pipe on the property;
  • The owner agrees to pay for any capital costs not covered by grants and maintenance costs of the new septic system.

Frequently Asked Questions

I completed the Confirmation Form and told you that I have a system. Why do you still need to do an inspection?
The By-Law requires you to provide a Certificate of Installation, a Final Inspection Report or an inspection from a qualified septic installer. If your submission did not include these documents, we will put your property in the Inspection Program. This inspection will provide you with the documentation required by the By-Law. The Municipality, along with the provincial and federal government, is committed to seeing a straight pipe free Lower LaHave River by 2023. To reach this goal, all properties within the Wastewater Management District are required to demonstrate that they do not have a straight pipe, either by providing us with their documentation, or through our Inspection Program.

Who doesn’t the Municipality or Nova Scotia Environment have my paperwork?
In the past, the Municipality did not always receive copies of the required documents when a system was installed. We have checked our filing system and we do not have a record of your system’s installation. Nova Scotia Environment has not been able to provide this document for your property.

Can I provide a receipt showing that I have my septic tank pumped out as proof of a system?
Having a septic tank does not always mean you have a septic system. A septic tank separates out the effluent, but does not treat it. A pipe exits the tank and carries the effluent away. We need to know where the effluent goes, and make sure it is being treated. A receipt showing your tank has been pumped out is not evidence that you have a septic system.

Can I install my own system and then apply for the grant from the Municipality?
No. The Municipality must manage the design and installation of the systems to make sure they meet environmental standards and to meet the federal funding requirements.

What happens if I sell my home before the 7 years is up?
If you sell your home, the charge remains with the home. The new property owner will be responsible for the Recovery Charge payments and the Annual Maintenance Charge.

What happens if the system malfunctions?
The Municipality is responsible for the ongoing maintenance and repair of the on-site sewage disposal system for 7 years from the date of the Certificate of Installation. If the system fails during the period of Municipal responsibility due to improper use of the system by the Property Owner, the Municipality may choose to repair the system and charge any costs incurred to the Property Owner, or immediately transfer the full responsibility of the system to the Property Owner and notify Nova Scotia Environment for compliance purposes.

When will my system be installed?
The first step is to complete the pdf LaHave River Straight Pipe Replacement Application Form (253 KB) . The LaHave River Project Management Team will review the list of applicants on a regular basis. Your system installation date will be discussed with you in advance, and may depend on the availability of contractors, weather, or the complexity of your location or system required.

I have a commercial or non-residential system – will the grants still cover 2/3 of the cost?
You may be required to pay a higher percentage of the cost of the system, as there is a cap on the federal and provincial funding. The maximum contribution of federal and provincial funding allocated toward reducing the Recovery Charge shall not exceed $19,667 plus a 2.5% escalation each year and applicable taxes. For non-residential properties that require an On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems that exceed the capacity requirements of a single family, four-bedroom house, the Property Owner shall be responsible for additional cost of the larger capacity system. The additional cost to be recovered from the Property Owner shall be determined by the LaHave River Project Management Team.

What if I don’t want to participate?
The LaHave Straight Pipe Replacement Program is mandatory for Property Owners with a straight pipe within the Wastewater Management District. The Nova Scotia Department of Environment has committed to enforcing compliance under the Nova Scotia Environment Act.

How can I learn more?
Interested residents can call Maria Butts at 902-541-5300 or email mThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.