How to maintain your septic system
Maintaining your septic system is the key to ensuring its longevity and efficiency. Proper care not only saves you from potential headaches but also contributes to the health of your property and the environment. By adopting a few simple practices and staying proactive, you can keep your septic system running smoothly for years to come.
Important steps to ensure your septic system functions properly
1. Get your septic tank pumped every 3-5 years (or as recommended by your local sewage hauler)
In accordance with the Ontario Building Code, septic tank pumping is advised when the sludge level reaches one-third of the tank’s capacity. Over time, sludge accumulates naturally in your septic tank. Without routine pumpouts, this buildup can lead to an overflow into the septic bed, potentially causing blockages within the absorption field. The potential consequence? The requirement for an expensive absorption field replacement. This emphasizes the significance of maintaining a regular pumping schedule. The value of consistent maintenance cannot be overstated, as it ensures the continuous smooth operation of your septic system.
2. Clean your effluent filter every 6-9 months.
The Ontario Building Code now stipulates that septic systems now include an effluent filter on the septic tank’s outlet pipe. Regular maintenance requires removing and cleaning this filter to eliminate any particles. Routine maintenance involves the removal and cleaning of this filter to eliminate particles. The primary objective of this filter is to prevent the passage of large particles into the septic bed. Additionally, regular cleaning every 6-9 months is essential to ensure the seamless operation of your septic system and prevent any potential backups into your home. This practice stands as a critical measure in maintaining the prime functionality of your septic system.
What you should NOT put into your sewage system:
- Anti-bacterial soaps
- Automatic toilet bowl cleaners
- “Flushable” wipes or other sanitary products
- Liquid fabric softeners
- Harsh chemicals
- Food scraps and coffee grounds
- Drain de-cloggers
Septic System DO's
- Do keep an accurate record of maintenance, pump outs and service calls
- Do keep a system diagram for reference
- Do repair leaky plumbing fixtures right away (especially leaky toilets)
- Do install an effluent filter in your septic tank to protect your leaching bed and to ensure compliance with the Ontario Building Code
- Do keep the access lids easily accessible and securely fastened
- Do ensure that all contractors know the location of your leaching bed, get the required utility located done and ensure that any landscaping does not impact the bed.
Sewage System DON'TS
- Don’t allow vehicles to drive over or park on the leaching bed
- Don’t build skating rinks or above ground pools on it
- Don’t dig without knowing the location of your sewage system
- Don’t plant any trees or shrubs on or near the bed; their roots can clog the pipes
- Don’t drain downspouts, sump pumps, etc down or near the tanks or leaching bed
- Don’t build over the tank or leaching bed with a hard surface such as asphalt, brick or patio stones
- Don’t excessively water the lawn over the leaching bed
- Don’t use a garbage disposal/garburator