Sewer (Wastewater) Systems

Wastewater is deposited for treatment into the Rossburn Municipal Lagoon from three main types of wastewater collection systems:

1) Septic Tanks

2) Holding Tanks

3) Piped Wastewater.

1) Septic Tank and Field

The vast majority of rural residents in the municipality use a septic tank and drainage field system. As a homeowner, your septic system is simple to operate and when properly constructed and maintained does an excellent job of removing pollutants from wastewater to protect the environment. Your septic system is an underground waste treatment system consisting of a septic tank and drainage field that uses a combination of nature and technology to treat wastewater from bathrooms, kitchen drains and laundry. The septic tank digests organic matter with microbes and separates floatable matter (e.g., oils and grease) and solids from the wastewater. The liquid (known as effluent) is discharged from the septic tank into a series of perforated pipes buried in a drainage or leach field, chambers, or other special units designed to slowly release the effluent into the soil.

As a homeowner it is your responsibility to maintain your system, ensuring that the septic tank is pumped out once every year or so, depending on use and size of the tank. Failure to pump the tank means solids will be discharged into your field, which will clog the soil and may eventually cause the system to fail.

Download the Province of Manitoba’s Homeowners Manual for Onsite Wastewater Management Systems to learn more about the installation, use and care of your septic system.

2) Holding Tanks

Holding tanks are commonly used for wastewater collection for homeowners in cottage areas where disposal fields are not permitted. Your holding tank is normally a single-compartment tank that need to be pumped out regularly by a registered sewage hauler.  All household wastewater from bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry is collected in the holding tank. A holding tank must be made of concrete, fiberglass, polyethylene or other approved material, and must bear a CSA stamp. Your holding tank must be located where they can be easily accessed by a sewage pump-out truck.  Depending on the size of the tank and water use, the wastewater that is stored in your holding tank must be pumped out between once every six weeks to once a year.

Septic Tank and Holding Tank Applications from Manitoba Conservation

The Province of Manitoba Conservation and Climate administers and regulates septic tanks and fields, and holding tanks pursuant to The Environment Act. You must be registered before construction, modification or replacement with Manitoba Conservation and Climate. The application you register is the legal document that provides authorization to begin construction and allows the Environment Officer to review the proposed design to make sure it meets the standard of practice and regulations. A site plan, indicating the location of the system and the distances to buildings, property boundaries, wells and watercourses, must accompany the application. A registration fee which varies with the type of system must also be paid in full at the time of registration.

For registration, application, and information contact the Environment Officer in Dauphin:

Western Region

Box 10
27-2nd Ave. SW
Dauphin, MB
R7N 3E5
Fax: (204) 638-8626

District Supervisor: Nicole Lavallee - (204) 648-3145

Environment Officers: David Yunker - (204) 648-4652 and Kayla Hagenson - (204) (204) 648-4794

The Application Forms and Worksheets are available at:

Septic and Holding Tank Sewage Disposal at the Municipal Lagoon

Private septic haulers are hired by the homeowner to empty their septic or holding tank into a tanker truck and haul the waste to the Municipal Lagoon. The registered septic hauler must pay the Municipality a lagoon dumping fee set by by-law and Public Utilities Board approval, and the dumping fee is included in the septic haulers charge to the homeowner. The business directory section of the website lists the areas septic haulers contact information.  Rossburn does not accept sewage from properties outside of the Municipality into our lagoon.

3) Piped Sewage in Town

Wastewater is collected within the Town of Rossburn through the municipal piped sewage system. All household wastewater from bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry is piped from the residence service line into the Municipality’s underground sewer main lines to the lift station on Victoria Avenue, where two large pumps push the wastewater through a large pipe directly into the lagoon. The lift station has a back-up generator that starts automatically in the event of a power failure, which eliminates the risk of wastewater back-up into a residence or business. There are around 300 properties connected to the Town’s piped wastewater system. The Town’s wastewater system costs are paid by fees set by by-law and approved by the PUB, included with the water rates on the residence’s quarterly utility billing.

Plugged Sewer Line in Town

To prevent costly plugging of your sewer service line do not dispose of grease, garbage, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, stringy material, cigarette filters, baby wipes or wipes of any kind, prophylactics, or other non-degradable items down the sewer drains. If you have a sewer blockage the following policy provides municipal guidance and rules: Sewer Backup Policy.