While a well-maintained system can last an estimated 40 years before significant repair or replacement is needed, unmaintained systems commonly malfunction within 15 years or less.

While a well-maintained system can last an estimated 40 years before significant repair or replacement is needed, unmaintained systems commonly malfunction within 15 years or less.

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

Septic Awareness Week is Sept. 20 to 24: Protect, Inspect, Maintain

If you neglect to service your vehicle or drive on bald tires, you’ll be looking for a new ride before very long.

Ignore that leaking roof? The eventual fix will cost a lot more in the long run.

The same goes for your home’s septic system – and why it pays to be septic savvy!

A household septic system costs between $25,000 and $45,000, yet often homeowners don’t give the essential system much thought.

Unless there is a problem, that is.

While a well-maintained system can last an estimated 40 years before significant repair or replacement is needed, unmaintained systems commonly malfunction within 15 years or less.

According to the Capital Regional District, it’s unknown how many systems are malfunctioning in the region, but when assessed, most systems receive recommendations for repair, maintenance or improvements that will help extend their lifespan.

As we mark Septic Awareness Week Sept. 20 to 24, the CRD and Western Canada Onsite Wastewater Management Association urge you to consider both what goes down the drain, and how you maintain your septic system.

  1. Flush only the 3Ps – poo, pee and (toilet) paper. Even small amounts of fats, oils and grease should be collected and composted or recycled – NOT sent down the drain. All other waste items including dental floss, disinfecting wipes, sanitary products, condoms, facial tissue and contact lenses go in the garbage. This includes all wipes and other products that may claim to be “flushable.”
  2. Beyond these “non-flushables,” detergents and chemicals can negatively impact the system. Reducing the amount of detergents you use and making your own environmentally friendly cleaning products can also help protect the beneficial bacteria in your system and our groundwater. Practice water conservation so your system isn’t overloaded and solids can settle in the tank.
  3. Proper maintenance means more than pumping out your tank. Systems can be camera inspected to ensure all components are in good working order, and can be cleaned or repaired as needed. The drainfield 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. After all, with the high cost of replacement, proper maintenance and monitoring is essential for your septic system.

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

CRD

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