Septic Tips

Click on the highlighted Tip areas below to expand your area of interest.

  • Disinfectants or Bleaches
  • Use in small quantities only.
  • Use Non-Chlorine cleaners that are biodegradable and non-toxic.
  • Detergents should be low-suds, biodegradable and low phosphate and contain either Baking Soda or Washing Soda.
  • Paper Products
  • Use only white paper products, natural bacteria do not eat colour dyes in paper and do not breakdown coloured paper. Non-bleached paper/brown takes a long time to breakdown and can therefore clog sewer lines, septic tanks and treatment systems.
  • Liquid Fabric Softeners should not be used; these products usually contain quaternary ammonia that is toxic to the bacteria.
  • Do not use toilet bowl tablets.
  • Do not discharge backwash from water softeners into the system and/or iron filters into the system. Iron filter discharge into a septic system is illegal.
  • Use potassium as a softener instead of salt in a water softener system as the salt can breakdown the tank at a faster rate. Salt also slows the aerobic action in the tank. Potassium in the water is potable and plant friendly.
  • No oils, greases, chemical wastes or latex paints should be put in the system.
  • No harsh Chemicals or Toxins should be put into the system such as household paints, solvents, thinners, caustic cleaners, pesticides and herbicides.
These are considered bacteria killers and will decrease the digestion of solids and clarification of liquids. Chemicals are extremely hazardous and are not treatable in a septic system.

  • Disposable Baby Diapers
  • Bandages
  • Strings
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Mud, Sticks
  • Shells, Bones
  • Bleach Wipes
  • Unused Medicine
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Rags
  • Condoms
  • Cigarette Butts
  • Paper Towels
  • Melon Rinds
  • Home Brewery Waste
  • Iron Filter Discharge
  • Wipes
  • Hair
  • Cotton Balls
  • Plastics
  • Metal Objects
  • Automotive Fluids
  • Corn Cobs
  • Baby Wipes
  • Spread laundry over several days or limit the number of loads per day.
  • Do not use in-sink garbage disposal units unless the septic tank or treatment unit and drain field have been designed and installed to accommodate the use of the in-sink garbage disposal unit. To include a garburator at the design phase of the project will add thousands of dollars to the overall cost of the system. Garburators create a high suspended solid load on the system which is hard to digest.
  • These are specifically outlawed in some jurisdictions. While not outlawed in Alberta the science behind them is not proven.
  • The water being removed from swimming pools, SPAs or Hot Tubs or their filter’s backwash water is not to be disposed of into the sewage system at any time. The reason is these waters do not require treatment and the system is not designed to add that much of an influx in flow. Also the water often has chlorine or bromine, which can retard the septic aerobic action.
  • The provincial authority's authorization and the design capacity of a sewage system for the property is based on the total daily sewage flow from the building not exceeding a specified volume.
  • Leaking household fixtures and appliances are to be repaired to stop any leakage. Leaking will increase the daily flow rate and may exceed the authorized operating conditions and damage the treatment system, including the drain field.
  • Do not add bedrooms or increase occupancy. The provincial authority’s authorization and design capacity is for a stated specified daily sewage flow based on the number of bedrooms and living space of the dwelling as per the regulation. Do not add bedrooms, increase living space or increase occupancy without determining the sewage system’s ability to handle the increased flow. Contact an authorized person to provide written advice in advance of adding bedrooms, living space or increasing occupancy. Many jurisdictions make it a requirement to have a certified designer review the system to determine if any increases will add any additional flow requirements like bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Do Not
  • Pave over, place heavy items on top of or park vehicles on or allow livestock on top of the drain field. A riding mower should be the heaviest thing permitted on the field.
  • Over water the drain field area or use irrigation on septic fields or mounds.
  • Dispose of yard or garden waste on top of the drain field.
Do not build retaining walls, or add soil or fill to the site after the completion of the installation of the sewage system without the permission of an authorized person.

A septic field performs best when it is covered with grass and mowed regularly. Grass and directing rainwater away from the field improves its performance.

Violations of the Above May Void Product Warranties and/or Damage the Drain Field and Create A Health Hazard
  • Presence of an abnormal odour in the residence or around the system.
  • Abnormally wet soil or presence of persistent puddles.
  • Presence of an abnormal amount of vegetation on the surface or around the drain field.
  • Flooding of the land where the drain field is installed.
  • Erosion of the land fill on or around the drain field system.
  • High level alarm sounding from Pump Chamber.

Do not enter your septic tank for any reason; toxic gases such as hydrogen sulphide can be present, are poisonous and can cause death or serious injury.
Keep the tank and tank lid secure at all times.


"To Whom It May Concern,
Please accept this letter as a strong recommendation for Russ Sirucek of Bearspaw Excavation & Landscaping Ltd and the services he provides. He conducts himself in a professional manner and the work he performs is done so in a very proficient manner. We retained Russ in the fall/winter of 2017 to install a septic tank and new septic field at an acreage we had purchased. He was able to get everything completed sooner than expected and we were very impressed with the final result, the whole site looks better than before he started. He was also able to remove trees, grade our driveway and create a large parking area for my business all the while staying within our budget. When he was finished the job the site was left clean and free of debris. Russ has the right skills, equipment and knowledge to complete any landscaping projects you may require. It is a pleasure to recommend Russ and the services he offers. Trevor Kalmbach"
Thank you for the snacks and I hope you had a great Christmas and will have a Happy New Year! I will be in contact in the spring as the way things are shaping up I will be too busy to seed that area my self, if you want to get me a quote I will most likely schedule it in right away with you. Thank you, Trevor

Here you go Anne.
I would highly recommend Russ and his team at Bearspaw for any major acreage work. I have hired Bearspaw and rented equipment from them for over 10 years and have always had good experiences. Russ is the kind of guy that does what he says he will do, when he says he will do it. A rare commodity these days. Whether you are doing foundations, landscaping, road or septic work, his experience and professional equipment will get the job done right. Todd Young