Tips for Homeowners

The association gets frequent calls from homeowners looking for information on how to care for their septic system. The association has a comprehensive section for homeowners on the SOWMA website that contractors can direct their customers to.

The new Saskatchewan Onsite Wastewater Disposal Guide requires that contractors provide homeowners with an operation and maintenance manual. These are available from the association, or you can create your own.

Another source of information for homeowners is on the government website.
Below is a excerpt from a document published by Saskatchewan Health:

How to Properly Maintain Your Onsite Wastewater Disposal System

The first step in maintaining your system is to locate all the key components. For new homeowners this should be easy but for homebuyers of existing homes here are a few hints. Try and locate the permit either through the previous homeowners or the local health region.

The permit should have a detailed site plan on it. If this is not available, even a professional may have trouble locating the system. In some cases, the access (manhole) to your septic tank may be buried. One way to start looking is to go in the basement and determine the direction the sewer pipe goes out through the wall. Back outside, a contractor can use a probe inserted into the soil to locate the buried piping. Once the system components are found, be sure to sketch a map and keep it on hand to save time on future service visits.

Once you have located your system you must perform regular maintenance to ensure that the system will function properly. The septic tank should be cleaned when half of the initial liquid capacity is occupied by solids. Some tanks may need cleaning at two years or sooner. Every two years is a reasonable schedule for an average household.

It is not necessary to leave solids in the septic tank to “start” it again. The tank should always be completely emptied. However, scrubbing and flushing the tank until it is visibly clean may delay the re-establishment of its normal operation.

For more information, download the full pdf file.