Septic Tank Maintenance

As a tenant or home owner there are several things you need to know:

What are the warning signs of a troubled septic system?

Grass over the system is unusually green & spongy to walk on. Drains in the house are slower to drain than normal. Odors may be noticeable Grey or black liquids surface in their yards or in the house.

If any of these signs are happening, you need to:

1. Call our SFN maintenance Department ASAP

2. SFN maintenance will call in a contractor to fix the problem

3. expose the septic system lids (the contractor will be waiting for you to expose the lids to your septic system before he does the service call)


The SFN maintenance department usually checks septic tanks during the summer months.

Reminder – if what you flush down the pot doesn’t rot – don’t do it!

Some items that will not rot & will eventually cause complete failure of your septic system such as:

  • Any kind of fats or grease down your kitchen sink or toilet
  • Cleaning paint brushes in your laundry tub sink, rinsing out paint related items or using solvents to clean brushes in your sink

Reminder – septic systems are not garbage disposals:

Please do not place - disposable diapers, condoms, dental floss, tampons down your toilet
And please try and use toilet tissue that is septic friendly – one of the worst toilet tissues for septic tanks is Charmin -  because it breaks down at such a slow rate, your septic tank will fill much quicker


If in doubt – don’t pour it out!

Paints, solvents, thinners, nail polish remover Laundry bleaches, toilet bowl cleaners & caustic drain openers can slow the treatment process.

Septic systems can not digest oils, grease & fat – oils or greases solidify in pipes & often plug them ( even if you use hot water)

Remember septic systems are not garbage disposals, including disposable diapers, tampons, their holders, condoms, wrappers and many other kinds of refuse plug & impair septic systems.

Solution: Often guests are not familiar with septic systems, post a sign in the bathroom, “if it doesn’t break down, don’t flush it down."

Water conservation- does it matter? You bet, it does! Based on the nature of the system, it takes time for the micro-organisms to work. Therefore, less water in the system allows more time for the system to work. Too much too quickly may cause untreated solid materials to flow into the drainage field, clogging it.

  • Don’t Wash too many loads of washing in a day. Have a large party, flushing causes an overflow
  • Do not drive cars, machinery or snowmobiles over the septic bed – this compresses & compacts the bed; subjecting it to damage.
  • Do not water the grass excessively or plant shrubs and trees (especially willow & poplars) This interferes with the soils ability to absorb liquids and break down waste.

Summer, and early fall are the best times to pump out your septic systems the ground will not be frozen and the spring water table has receded.

Remember a septic system pump-out is less than a hundredth the price of an overhaul.

So remember, a well maintained septic system can run for decades. An abused or neglected one can fail tomorrow and cost valuable money.