Be Septic Smart


from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

Having a well maintained, properly functioning septic system is very important to rural landowners and Rideau cottagers. Systems need regular care and maintenance and should be pumped every three to five years. Spring is a perfect time to get a licensed contractor in to inspect and pump your septic system. Here are some other good septic dos and don’ts to remember:


  • Familiarize yourself with the location of your system
  • Keep a drawing of your system for reference
  • Divert surface water away from your leaching bed
  • Pump out your tank on a regular basis (three to five years)
  • Repair leaky plumbing fixtures
  • Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater being treated
  • Replace old toilets with low-flush models
  • Keep accurate records of septic system maintenance and service calls


  • Flush chemicals, cigarette butts or sanitary products
  • Use a garbage disposal/garburator
  • Plant trees or shrubs too close to the system or leaching bed
  • Dig without knowing the location of your septic system
  • Drive over your tank or leaching bed
  • Enter a tank — gases and lack of oxygen can be fatal
  • Connect rain gutters, storm drains or allow surface water to drain into a sewage system
  • Leave interior faucets on to protect water lines during cold spells — instead, insulate your faucets and plumbing


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