Valuable Information to Share With Homeowners

The association has a homeowner section on its website that provides information on the importance of using a Certified Installer and how to operate and maintain septic systems.

The Government of Manitoba also has helpful information on its website to help in educating homeowners on proper maintenance for their septic system.

Contractors can print off this information and provide it as part of a maintenance manual for their clients. Educating homeowners is important as it teaches them to value their system infrastructure and how to keep it functioning at its optimum.

Below is information available from the Government of Manitoba:

Septic systems are simple to operate and when properly designed, constructed and maintained, do an excellent job of protecting Manitoba’s water resources by removing harmful wastewater pollutants. Property owners must do a few important things to keep their system operating properly and to ensure a long service life.

Onsite Wastewater Management Systems (Septic Systems) that are properly operated and maintained can last for 20 years or longer.

Tips fur Using and Maintaining your OWMS (to avoid system malfunction and failure):

CONSERVE WATER

Since the soil must accept all of the water used in the home, using less water is the best thing a resident can do to maintain their septic system. Disposal fields do not have an unlimited capacity. Limiting water use can help prevent hydraulic overloading of a system.

Water conservation tips:

  • Space out water use throughout the day and week. For example, avoid washing all your laundry in one day.
  • Install water conserving fixtures like low flow showerheads, low flow toilets, and even purchase a front-loading washing machine.
  • Typical water use is about 500 liters (110 gallons) per bedroom per day. Try not to exceed that amount. A water metre will help monitor water usage.
  • Keep your fixtures in good repair. A slow running toilet can add large amounts of water. A running toilet discharging 0.25 gal/minute will result in 360 gallons per day. To test the toilet, put a few drops of food colouring in the toilet tank. If it shows up in the bowl, it is leaking. It may take as long as an hour for colour to show in the bowl.
  • Wastewater not included in the system’s design should not be put into the system. This may include wastewater from: foundation weeping tile drains, a hot tub, a spa or hydro-massage bath exceeding a 2-person capacity, a swimming pool, an iron filter, water conditioning equipment that generates excessive amount of wastewater.

When the soil absorption system is overloaded with wastewater, the soil becomes saturated and can no longer provide effective treatment due to the lack of oxygen and reduced activity of the soil micro-organisms. Under these conditions, wastewater pollutants are not effectively broken down and will accumulate in the soil pores and clog the disposal field. If these conditions persist, wastewater will pond in the disposal field and eventually surface on the ground, thereby creating a potential risk to the environment and public health. A saturated soil absorption system can take a long time to recover and should be viewed as a warning that the system has been improperly located, designed, installed or operated and maintained. A continuously saturated system will fail and may be very difficult, if not impossible, to rejuvenate.

Click here to access the pdf document.