Healthy Septic System Translates To A Healthier Environment

The septic tank whether it operates alone or in connection with a treatment system requires an inspection at least every two years and on average should be pumped every 3-4 years. Visual inspections will indicate when the sludge in the tank is approaching 1/3 full in the first compartment. If sludge in this compartment is greater than 1/3 it needs to be removed to prevent suspended solids from leaving this tank and potentially causing problems further on in the treatment process. This is the time to call to have your septic system pumped. Never enter a septic tank for any reason. Noxious gases are present which are heavier than oxygen. Death may result to anyone who comes in contact with these fumes. Keep water use reasonable. Use appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines that incorporate water conservation in their design. Use water conserving showers heads and low flow toilets. Ensure your taps, toilets etc are not leaking water which will unnecessarily fill up the septic tank. Minimize the use of spas and hot tubs as they contain large volumes of water that may flush solids out of the septic tank. Food waste disposals are not recommended for septic tanks as larger solids are deposited into the septic and do not deteriorate into sludge.
A septic tank is not a garbage disposal. Keep the following items out of the septic tank:

Water softener backwash

Pesticides or herbicides


Sump pump discharge


Eavestrough runoff

Grease, cooking fats and oils

Pumped foundation drainage

Coffee grounds

Cosmetic products


Industrial cleaners, ie Lye
Cigarette butts

Floor drains

Disposable diapers

Palm oil, large volumes of olive oil

Facial tissue

Excessive use of hair gels, conditioners, anti dandruff

Sanitary pads and tampons or medicated shampoos


Carpet or upholstery cleaners

Disposable gloves

Expired or unused medications

Bleach pucks

Disinfectants, germicides

Antibacterial products

Bandages, cotton swabs

Detergents with dry bleach crystals

Peppermint oil

All persons undergoing any form of medical radiation treatments or possessing any forms of irregular immune system response will affect the health of a septic tank.

Signs of Septic System Failure:

– water and sewage from toilets, drains and sinks are backing up into the home

– bathtub, showers and sinks drain very slowly -gurgling sounds in plumbing system

-standing water or damp spots near septic tank or septic fields

-bad odours around the septic tank and septic fields

-bright green, spongy lush grass over the septic tank and septic field

-algal bloom in nearby ponds or lakes

-high levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria in water well.
Minor septic system issues can turn into big costly problems. Fixing minor problems and paying maintenance fees of a few hundred dollars every few years is a bargain compared to the cost of repairing or replacing a malfunctioning system.


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