Caring For Septic Systems

an uncovered septic tank is being pumped out

Protect your septic system and the environment. Have your septic tank pumped out every 3 to 5 years.

Do you have a septic system?

If you live in a rural area, waste from your home is likely treated in a private on-site septic system.

Septic systems are considered potential threats to our drinking water sources because of the possibility of leaching of contaminants like chemicals and bacteria into ground or surface water. Regular septic system maintenance will help to protect you against costly system failure and will protect our drinking water sources and the environment too.

If you are not sure when your septic system tank was last pumped, it is likely time to do it again. Contact a local, licensed company to pump out your septic tank. Find one in the yellow pages or through an internet search. Be sure to keep a record of your septic system maintenance so you will know when to do it again.

Septic System Inspections

The Ontario Building Code  and the Quinte Region Source Protection Plan now require that septic systems in the most vulnerable areas surrounding municipal drinking water sources be inspected every five years.

In the Quinte Region these mandatory inspections are carried out by qualified municipal staff.

To check if your property is located in a vulnerable area check the Policy Information Maps.

Other Requirements in the Source Protection Plan

Eight policies in the source protection plan address the threat to drinking water sources from both private on-site sewage systems and municipal sewage infrastructure.

For more information see the Quinte Region Source Protection Plan or this fact sheet:

Sewage Related Drinking Water Threats in Quinte Region.

Informative Links:

Septic System Video
Septic System Technologies Video
Septic System Maintenance Video
Septic Smart Booklet
Your Septic System: Protecting Your Investment and the Environment
Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association
Septic System Brochure from Conservation Ontario
Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre

Protect your investment, your family and nearby drinking water sources:

  • Have your septic tank pumped every 3 to 5 years. Keep a record of your pump-out so you will know when to do it again.
  • Know the location of your septic tank and bed and protect them from damage. Don't drive over them or construct anything on top.
  • Keep trees and shrubs away from your septic system as roots may interfere with its function.
  • Do a surface inspection of your septic system at least once a year to ensure that there are no soggy areas or 'break-outs' of sewage on the surface of the ground.
  • Be aware of what you put down the drain. Avoid using harsh cleaning products and putting grease or food down your drain.
  • Dispose of toxic items at your municipality's household hazardous waste collection. Do not pour paint, pesticides or toxic chemicals down your drain.
  • Conserve water and spread your water use out during the week. Do not overload or clog your septic system by doing multiple loads of laundry in one day.