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19 Be Smart About Septic Systems With septic systems what goes in must come out Most of Ontarios waterfront property owners rely on on-site wastewater treatment systems to manage household water. Maintaining your septic system is critical to ensuring that your wastewater does not add excess nutrients to your lake or contaminate groundwater. Some tips Have your septic tank inspected and pumped out on a regular basis. The frequency of your pump-outs will vary based on the size of your tank your family size and the number of appliances you use. As a general rule pump your septic tank every 2 to 3 years. Avoid constructing patios decks or parking areas over your septic tile bed. Extra weight can crush pipes and compact the soil limiting its permeability. Do not use snowmobiles over the leaching bed area in winter this will reduce the snow covers insulating effect.ATV and snowmobile traffic can also compact filtration material. Have an effluent filter installed in your septic tank to reduce the amount of solids entering the leaching bed to prevent clogging. Ensure access to the septic tank for proper maintenance and servicing. Avoid planting certain species of trees around the leaching bed area.Willow roots can clog pipes and shade the septic area slowing evaporation. Do not water your lawn around leaching bed area extra water can reduce the beds ability to absorb and treat waste water from the house. Direct rainwater from roofs patios and driveways away from the leaching bed to avoid system overload. Do not dump toxic waste down your drain or toilet. Paints oil gasoline antifreeze and chlorine can be disposed at your local hazardous waste centre Use environmentally friendly cleaning products and avoid putting fats oils or antibacterial products into your septic system. Avoid using in-sink garbage disposal units. Consider installing a composting toilet to reduce wastewater. Contact your local building inspector for more information. For resources visit httpfoca.on.caseptic-systems