Understanding Your Septic System: Maintenance Tips for Longevity and Efficiency

Septic System Maintenance Tips

If you’re the proud owner of a septic system, you likely know the basics of what that entails. If you’ve recently moved from the city to a rural property, this is likely your first encounter with a septic system. While there are some similarities between septic and sewer systems, there are many critical differences that you need to know about living on a property with a septic system.

The Importance of Septic System Maintenance

A septic system is crucial for many homes, especially in rural areas without access to centralized sewage systems. The septic system on your property treats all the wastewater from your kitchen, laundry room and bathroom. 

The system’s longevity, efficiency, and avoidance of costly repairs heavily depend on regular maintenance. Neglecting this can lead to backups that cause property damage, foul odours, and environmental harm.

Septic System Maintenance Tips


One of the most important maintenance tips for your septic system is prevention. Everyone must be on the same page if your household has many members regarding proper septic system use and maintenance. Everyone should know the importance of avoiding harmful chemicals, water conservation, and appropriate toilet flushing practices. Collective efforts help prevent problems and prolong the system’s life.

Monitor What’s Being Flushed

Only biodegradable, septic-safe materials should go down your drains. Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items and pouring grease, oils, or harsh chemicals as they disrupt the tank’s balance and damage the drain field.

Routine Maintenance 

Routine maintenance, including pumping, is crucial. Regular inspections by qualified repair specialists can catch problems early. Aim to pump your septic tank every three to five years to prevent solid buildup and maintain efficiency.

Excessive Water Usage

Excessive water use can overload the system, and reducing water waste benefits both the environment and your septic system. Fix leaks promptly, install low-flow fixtures, and space out water-intensive tasks.

Harsh Chemicals

Avoid harsh home cleaning chemicals that can harm the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank. Opt for septic-safe or natural cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar.

Drain Field Monitoring

Protecting your drain field is vital for all septic tank owners. Avoid driving or parking heavy vehicles over it. Don’t build or landscape on it, as compacted soil can hinder wastewater absorption, leading to system failure. 

Monitor plant and tree growth near your septic system. Regularly check for root intrusion as roots can damage pipes and tanks, so choose appropriate species and plant them at a safe distance.

Septic Tank Riser

Consider installing a septic tank riser for easier access and maintenance. It eliminates digging and facilitates routine tasks, encouraging regular maintenance.

Winter Prevention

In cold climates, take steps to prevent winter septic problems. Insulate exposed pipes and the tank lid, and minimize water usage in freezing temperatures to prevent drain field freezing.

Garbage Disposals

If you have a garbage disposal, it can negatively impact your septic system. It can increase the frequency of needed septic tank pumping as food waste is slowly digested and accumulates as scum and sludge. Heavy usage can push solids into the drain field, clogging pipes and thickening the biomat, a bacterial layer in drain field trenches. If you use a garbage disposal, more frequent pumping is necessary.

Trusted Septic System Maintenance and Repair From SepTech

Regular septic system maintenance is critical to your home’s health and avoiding costly repairs. Regular inspections, conserving water, responsible waste disposal, avoiding harmful chemicals, protecting the drain field, and installing a riser are essential. These steps and household education can save repair costs and ensure your septic system’s long-term effectiveness.

Even with perfect behaviour, septic system issues can occur in Northern Alberta, and that’s where SepTech’s services shine. We work hard to avoid complete septic system replacement while getting your septic system repaired and functioning as it should. SepTech’s specialists are here to help whether you require routine maintenance or emergency repair