Septic Tips

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Be kind to your septic and it will be kind to the lake

Conserve water to reduce the volume of waste water to be treated.
Use low flush toilets and low flow showerheads, don’t run taps to rinse dishes or vegetables, repair plumbing leaks.

Don’t poison the bacteria that make your septic work.
Use biodegradable, non-toxic, phosphate-free cleaners, detergents, shampoos, etc.; never flush paints, solvents, or other chemicals.

Remember your septic is not a garbage can.
Don’t use a garburator or put grease, oils, paper or sanitary products, cigarette butts or pharmaceuticals down the drain.

Have your tank pumped out regularly (at least every 3-5 years).
Keep a record of when it’s pumped and of any maintenance performed.

Know where your septic tank and leaching bed are.
Don’t drive over them, park on them or dig near them.

Keep the leaching bed as dry as possible.
Divert downspouts away and don’t allow surface water to drain toward or pool near the system.

Plant over the bed with native grasses or small ground covers that don’t need watering.
Keep trees and shrubs at least three metres away.

Don’t connect water softeners to your septic system.
The salt in the backwash can destroy the essential bacteria, overload the system and damage your tank.

Watch for trouble signs.
Be alert for sewage odours, slow drains, unusually lush grass, spongy soil or gray or black liquid surfacing over the system (or worse, backing up through your drains inside).

If you see trouble signs, act fast.
Immediately get your system pumped and checked by a reputable contractor, or call the Health Unit. Don’t try quick fixes such as “special additives” that claim to enhance your system – they can make matters worse.

Taking regular care of your system will save you time, money and worry.  Failed or malfunctioning systems are hazardous to the environment and your bank account.

For more detailed information on septic systems, go to www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/my-home-environment/my-home/sewage-disposal or www.FOCA.on.ca/environment-resources.


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