Dos of Septic System Maintenance

  • Have your tank pumped every three to five years. Septic systems professionals should inspect the entire system - field, distribution box and pump chambers.
  • Know where your system is. Keep a photo or map and maintenance records.
  • Be safety conscious when checking your system. Watch for heavy tank covers, sewer gases and raw sewage.
  • Practice water conservation by using low flush toilets, water saving faucets and shower heads, dishwashers only when full - your system will last longer.
  • Take hazardous wastes to approved disposal centres.
  • Plant grass on your drainfield rather than tress or shrubs. Water sparingly.
  • Divert roof, patio and driveway runoff away from the drainfield. Keep sump pumps, hillside runoff and foundation drains away from the system as well.
  • Protect the reserve drainfield area.
  • Ensure that your system is large enough for your needs. Garburetors put extra pressure on the system. So do additional bedrooms or suites.
  • Contact your local public health agency for permits for repairs, improvements, installations and further information.
Septic system

Don'ts of Septic System Maintenance

  • Don't put non-degradables down sinks or toilets. No cigarettes, diapers, hair, grease, cat litter, coffee grounds, etc.
  • Don't use commercial septic tank additives. They are unnecessary, expensive and may cause pollution.
  • Don't use excessive amounts of bleach or kitchen solvents.
  • Don't pour harmful chemicals down your drains: no paint, kerosene, solvents, antifreeze, gas, oil, herbicides or pesticides. These can leach into groundwater and poison the environment.
  • Don't stress the system with multiple laundry loads on one day.
  • Don't discharge water softening devices into the system.
  • Don't park or drive on your drainfield. Outbuildings, patios or pools can compact the soil, crush pipes, and reduce aerobic action in the drainfield.
  • Don't saturate your drainfield with automatic sprinkling.

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