Be Septic Savvy: Here’s why it pays to pay attention to what you flush!

Septic Awareness Week is September 20-24: Protect, Check, Wait

If you neglect to maintain your vehicle or drive with broken tires, you will soon be looking for a new vehicle.

Are you ignoring the leaky roof? The eventual repair will cost much more in the long run.

The same goes for your home's sewage system – and why it's worth knowing about sewage disposal!

A home septic system costs between $25,000 and $45,000, but often homeowners don't give much thought to the necessary system.

Unless there is a problem.

While a well-maintained system can last an estimated 40 years before requiring major repairs or replacement, unmaintained systems often begin to fail within 15 years or less.

According to the Capital Regional District, it is unknown how many systems in the region are malfunctioning. However, when evaluated, most systems receive recommendations for repairs, maintenance, or improvements that will help extend their lifespan.

In honor of Septic Awareness Week, September 20-24, the CRD and the Western Canada Onsite Wastewater Management Association urge you to think about what goes down the drain and how you maintain your wastewater system.

  1. Flush only the 3Ps – poop, pee and (toilet) Paper. Even small amounts of fats, oils and fats should be collected and composted or recycled – NOT put down the drain. All other waste products such as dental floss, disinfectant wipes, hygiene products, condoms, facial tissues and contact lenses belong in the trash. This includes all wipes and other products that claim to be “flushable.”
  2. Aside from these “unflushables,” cleaning agents and chemicals can have a negative impact on the system. Also, reducing the amount of cleaning products you use and making your own eco-friendly cleaning products can help protect the beneficial bacteria in your system and our groundwater. Conserve water to avoid overloading your system and allowing solids to settle in the tank.
  3. Proper maintenance involves more than just pumping out your tank. Systems can be inspected with a camera to ensure all components are in good working order and can be cleaned or repaired if necessary. The drain field must also remain as undisturbed as possible. Protect it from vehicles, heavy equipment, tree and shrub roots, overwatering and saturation.

These simple steps can have a big impact. Because with the high cost of replacement, proper maintenance and monitoring of your septic system is crucial.

To learn more and enter to win a FREE septic system inspection, visit www.crd.bc.ca/septic.

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