Home > Hazards > Leaking Septics
Septic Tanks - Maintenance / Inspection / Cleaning
  • Have your septic tank pumped out once every 2 - 5 years, depending on how many people live in your home. Properly maintained septic systems help protect our environment. Faulty or inadequate systems leak and contribute harmful bacteria to both the lake and your well water and can lead to raw sewage backing up into your home.
  • Adding chemicals or commercially sold additives is NOT necessary in order for your septic tank to work properly.
  • Use liquid dishwasing and liquid laundry detergent, instead of powder.
    Powered detergents can harden over time in your pipes and cause clogging.
  • Have your septic system or holding tank inspected, if it is 15 years or older.
  • If you own a holding tank, ensure that it is pumped out when necessary, quite often this is every 3-4 months.

    Early warning signs of leakage or problems you can watch for include:
  • Gray or black liquids surfacing on your lawn, above your tank or tile bed
  • Toilets, showers and sinks taking longer to drain than usual
  • Sewage odors becoming noticeable (run unused faucets once a month).
    This adds water into the U pipe (odour trap), thus preventing smell
  • Many septic systems also have tile beds (perforated pipes in the ground) that help drain/evaporate the liquids that come out of your tank. Be sure you know where your tank(s) and tile bed are located, never park vehicles or place heavy items on top of your tile bed, this may cause damage and or prevent evaporation of liquids

    The damage done by faulty septic systems is especially harmful to kettle lakes. One of the key reasons this damage is so hazardous is that the flushing rate of kettle lakes (the rate at which a lake cleanses itself) is very low. What goes in - stays in for long periods.

    For more information refer to our Homeowner's Guide.

Please note: If you have a septic problem or you think your neighbour does.
Call the York Region Health Unit to arrange for an inspection at 905-895-4511.

Related Topics
> e-coli Bacteria
> Geese & Dog Feces
> Mosquitoes
> Phosphates & Pesticides
> Thin Ice
> Waste Disposal