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Septic System Maintenance 

There are several steps that septic system owners can follow to improve and extend the life of their existing systems. The following are only some precautions that can be taken by the septic tank owners:

  • Conserve water and reduce waste flow into the system by installing water saving features in plumbing fixtures.
  • Ensure a qualified professional inspects your septic tank every two to three years.
  • septicPump the tank out every three to five years, or sooner depending on use.
  • Reduce and eliminate the use of phosphate-based detergents, soaps and cleaners to minimize algae growth and protect water quality.
  • Do not use snowmobiles over the leaching bed area. This reduces the natural insulation of the bed provided by the snow cover.
  • Avoid planting trees or shrubs in the leaching bed area since roots can clog the pipes and shades the area, preventing evapotranspiration.

For a complete listing of ways to maintain your septic system see the Guide To Operating and Maintaining Your Septic System.

The Environmental Health Foundation of Canada has produced a Septic System Maintenance Pure and Simple video and brochure as an educational package.

The Environmental Health Foundation of Canada has also published a Septic System Maintenance Pure and Simple brochure that includes the size and dimensions of conventional septic systems, recommend tank capacities, and dos and don'ts of ongoing septic system care and maintenance.

The Muskoka Watershed Council has produced a brochure about Caring for Your Septic System in Muskoka as well as a Wastewater Technical Bulletin about selecting the right waste management system for your needs.


The Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners Associations have some great wastewater management resources on their website, including a video about septic systems titled Poop Talk - It's All About the Water.