Modern septic systems have made it fairly easy to maintain a well-functioning system – but that doesn’t mean they are maintenance-free. Here are some tips to help ensure your septic system continues to work optimally.
Grease and harmful chemicals can damage your system and pose a risk to your groundwater; find ways to dispose of them properly. Also, avoid heavy-duty cleaners as they can kill beneficial bacteria that your system requires to function effectively.
And don’t flush products that are not meant for the system, such as cat litter, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, facial tissues, coffee grounds or cigarette butts and filters.
Use your garbage disposal judiciously; food waste can fill your septic tank quickly. Install a top-of-the-line garbage disposal that breaks down food waste into the smallest pieces possible.
Also, be conservative when showering and washing dishes and laundry. Add aerators to your faucets and displacers to your toilets to reduce water flow.
Do not drive over or build on top of your septic system. Even though it’s buried, significant weight could damage the system at a tremendous cost.
No matter what steps you take to minimize the impact on your septic system, if you use it you will have to have it pumped. The frequency of your septic system maintenance depends on the size of your tank and the number of people in your household.
Never try to inspect or clean the system yourself. Septic systems contain harmful gases and bacteria, and cleanings should only be conducted by a trained professional.
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Septic Page
Metro Vancouver Wastewater Treatment & Facilities
BC Ministry of Environment – Septic Tank and Disposal Field Systems
Maintaining Your Septic System
EPA – How to Care for Your Septic System
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