To my mind the fundamental block in follow through on the septic re-inspection issue has been the "us vs them" mentality. Either it was one neighbour pointing at another; land-access cottagers vs Island residents; village residents vs lakefront; seasonal vs permanent; or most recently, rich vs poor.
The report of the Septic Re-inspection Committee tried to steer the issue away from a pursuit of allegedly delinquent property owners, to a focus upon information-gathering. The Committee members learned that the failure rate in septic systems is typically very low; cooperation in reporting systems is usually very high; and the environmental impact of poorly operating septic systems is negligible in any event when compared to the impact of run-off in extreme weather situations.
Accurate information on septic systems (which we do not have in Central Frontenac) sets the stage for responsible decision-making primarily with regard to human health. That, too, was lost sight of.
The stridency surrounding septic re-inspection was never set aside. Not by proponents. Not by Council. It remained us vs them. The shift in focus towards information gathering and regular reporting never happened. Everyone involved must carry some of the blame for this.
We now have perhaps the worst outcome possible: residential lakefront owners have been targeted. We have come out of this with an "us vs them" and one-time reporting solution. By the time the first round of inspections are completed the inspections done at the front end will already be out of date. Areas where health is most at issue will not even have been addressed yet.
My hope is that Council will re-visit the septic re-inspection issue again, set aside the hastily done solution, and re-launch the septic re-inspection initiative with a focus upon information gathering and regular reporting.