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Considerations & Advice When Shopping For Poly Septic Tanks

Septics and Cisterns Yard

Picking the right septic tank can be a daunting task, especially if it’s not a process you’ve gone through before. We’ve put together a guide to help cover the basics, such as what a septic tank does, what size you should consider, installation options, and long-term maintenance tips to help ensure you get the most out of your investment.

When you’re ready to take the next step you can shop online to access technical drawings, specs, and place your order.

Understanding the Basics

Septic tanks are the first step in the process of sewage conditioning in a subsurface disposal system. A septic tank is an underground chamber through which domestic wastewater (sewage) flows for basic sewage treatment. The treated liquid is commonly disposed of in a septic drain field.

Plastic Septic Tanks are made of high-density polyethylene and often called Poly Septic Tanks. They’re becoming increasingly popular because they are lighter than concrete alternatives, easier to install, and more affordable to buy.

With proper installation, environmental factors, and maintenance, Poly Septic Tanks can have a lifespan of over 30 years.

How to Determine the Right Size Poly Septic Tank for Your Home

You can find a thorough breakdown of the Ontario building code, calculation tools, and more on our blog post How to Calculate the Right Size Septic Tank! Below is a condensed version with some of the basics to help you get started.

House Size As a general rule, your square footage can be a guide to help you assess what size septic tank you need. The minimum requirement in Ontario is 3,600L (950 USG). A 1,000 USG Poly Septic Tanks can service houses up to 1,500 square feet.
House Occupancy Rate Simply put, the number of people living in your home will influence your septic tank needs. The average person produces an estimated 150 Litres (40 USG) of wastewater daily. A family of two will manage with a much smaller tank than a family of 5.
Additional Wastewater Producers If your property has any additional features that produce wastewater, be sure to include them in your calculations so that your septic system can be maintained efficiently. Some examples are additional toilets, bathrooms, showers, multiple kitchens or multi-unit houses, hot tubs and pools.
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Factors to Consider When Installing a Septic Tank

Properly installing your Poly Septic Tank will minimize the risk of future complications or damage. Below are some of the considerations to review prior to installation. 

Authorization You must have a permit to install a septic tank on your property. Improper installation can reduce underground water quality and create a health hazard to those who use it. 
Soil Type Your leach field needs to be composed of soil that will effectively drain your treated sewage. High amounts of gravel and sand will drain better than soil containing large amounts of clay. If your soil is too dense to efficiently drain, it could lead to a blockage of your septic system. 
Landscaping Avoid installing your Poly Septic Tank near your home, trees, or any other significant obstructions to avoid causing damage to your drainage pipes, or even the tank itself. The septic tank should be at least 5 feet from such structures, and its lid should always be secure.

When to Empty Your Poly Septic Tank

Poly Septic Tanks should be emptied at least once every 3-5 years. This is a great way to maintain the health of your septic system while ensuring your tank doesn’t overflow. Overflowing or leaking can cause environmental damage and pollution. Here are five easy indications that your septic tank is reaching capacity.

If your drains or toilets are slow to empty when used.
You’ll start to notice bad odours in your drains, toilets, or around your yard. As the tank fills, the space for gases inside your septic tank is reduced, causing a sewage smell.
Your yard above the septic tank will be more vibrant and lush than other areas on your property. Excess waste can create fertilizer for your lawn but can become unsafe and hazardous quite quickly.
Mucky or standing water on your property, specifically near your septic tank. This indicates that the septic tank is overwhelmed and may be approaching a sewage backup.
Finally, the worst-case scenario is a sewage backup into your home. As expected, this can create an emergency situation and costly repairs to your home and septic system.

We hope that this brief list will help you to feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about the process of researching, installing, and maintaining your next Poly Septic Tank. 

When you’re ready to take the next step you can shop online to access blueprints, technical information, and place your order. 

If you have questions our team is always available via phone at (905) 386-1744 or email at to help with your research and make customized recommendations.

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