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Protecting Your Lake
Bitter, Burdock, Coleman, Little Redstone, Pelaw & Redstone


Protecting Your Lake
Bitter, Burdock, Coleman, Little Redstone, Pelaw & Redstone

Septics - The Poop on Poop

Septic Systems - Operating and Maintaining

A septic system is a very effective way to safely recycle household black and grey waste water back into our natural environment. A soil treatment bed will remove all pathogens and most of the nutrients contained in the waste water if it is properly designed, installed, operated and maintained.

“Operated and maintained ” translates as: everything we do or put into our septic system.

To achieve proper waste water treatment, a septic system is absolutely dependent on millions of naturally occurring bacteria throughout the system. We add many of these good bacteria through the wastes and materials typically found in our waste water. Anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank decompose organic materials in the waste water and aerobic bacteria in the soil destroy disease-causing pathogens.

Use of Antibacterial/Disinfectant’ Products

The use of antibacterial or ‘disinfectant’ products in the home will destroy good and bad bacteria in the treatment system. Normal use amounts of these products will destroy some beneficial bacteria but the population will remain sufficient and recover quickly enough to not cause significant treatment problems. Excessive use of these products in the home however can cause significant and even total destruction of the population. Questions like ‘how antibacterial is antibacterial?’ and ‘which products are better or worse than others?' are good questions. See Lake Living/Green Products  - Best Products and Where to Buy

What antibacterial products we are talking about?

They include: ‘antibacterial’ hand soaps, tub, tile and shower cleaners, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, laundry bleach products, and others. All very common in households.

Moderation or Avoidance?

It's really a personal decision with respect to which products you might use. At best most experts advocate for avoidance entirely of any antibacterial products. With careful moderation rare use of these products will not likely impact. Avoidance however is more certain.

To improve septic system performance:

  • Use Environmentally Certified Products;
  • Do not use ‘every flush’ toilet bowl cleaners;
  • Minimize/eliminate hair, grease, and food particles (coffee grinds) that go down the drain which interfere with bacterial breakdown in the tank and clog the loose-fill material in the drain field;
  • Reduce/eliminate use of cleaners with more hot water soaking and scrubbing with Eco soaps;
  • Confronted with stubborn cleaning? Use minimal amounts of mild cleaners as needed; and only to do the job and only when you have no choice;
  • Route chlorine-treated water from hot-tubs outside of the septic system;
  • Dispose of all solvents, paints, antifreeze, and chemicals through local hazardous waste channels;
  • Do not flush unwanted prescription or over the counter medications down the toilet;
  • Do not unnecessarily flush excess paper products and seek out biodegradable products;
  • Ordinary vinegar is a great cleaner and rinse agent for your dishwasher see Links and Good Stuff - Vinegar is Good for What?;
  • Try the new low heat, non-stick cookware e.g. Green Panware
  • Pump your septic tank every 4 to 5 years

A Note on Bacterial Septic Treatments

All of the practices above will work toward preventing the loss of beneficial bacteria throughout the septic system. Bacterial additives (enzymes, starters) are not necessary and will not compensate for excessive use of antibacterial products.  if you are having bacterial problems with your septic system, the benefit of additives will be short lived if your operating and maintaining your system improperly.

How will I know if I have a bacterial problem in my system?

The problem is you may not until it's too late. That's why operating and maintaining your system is so important. Two important signs to be on the look-out for are:

  • Dark-colored water is standing on the surface of the drain field
  • A yucky sewage odor can be smelled in or around your home
1 January 2016

Current weather in Haliburton

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Redstone Lake Water Level

Lake Levels

Lake levels are fluctuating. On occasion you may find floating hazards, logs etc. Additionally as the lake level lowers, rock hazards may or may not be entirely visible. As always caution is advised.

RLCA strives to make this information helpful and accurate. No representation or warranty of any kind is made regarding the information provided. As such we disclaim all liability of any kind whatsoever arising out of your use of, or inability to use, this information. Source: Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site


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