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Your Septic System

Chances are that you are one of the 25% of Canadians who have septic systems. Septic systems are another method of sewage treatment aside from city sewer. A septic system treats household waste water (human waste, showers, sinks, dishwashers, washing machine, etc) on your property and releases the treated effluent, or human waste, into the ground water system. As a result of the nature of septic systems it is imperative to maintain your

system to protect your household health, the environment, and your water source. This image illustrates the general concept of how your septic system works.

Your Septic Tank

Septic tanks separate solids from liquids before sending the liquids into the septic field (or leaching bed). The septic tank breaks down the organic matter through bacteria. Solids accumulate on the bottom of the tank and it results in “sludge”. Lighter solids, such as grease and fats, rise to the top of the tank and form a layer of “scum”. The middle section of the septic tank that is liquid travels to the drain field to be dispersed. If maintenance is neglected,

the septic tank becomes filled with sludge and scum that travel down your drain field and clog

your pipes. This results in your septic waste backing up into your dwelling and having to

replace your drain field—which can be expensive and require excavation of your yard.

Your Drain Field

The liquids that enter your drain field, either by gravity or a pump, are dispersed through a system of perforated pipes. These “runs” of perforated pipe must be kept clear for proper functioning of your system. Ultimately your liquids enter the ground water; this is why it is important to

maintain your


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