Sadly, septic tank blockages are a common occurrence. While some can be quite easy to unblock, others can be quite troublesome.

The main factor contributing to septic tank blockages is the lack of regular maintenance. According to provincial regulations, septic tanks should be cleaned out once every two years to ensure the system keeps functioning properly. When cleaning a septic tank, the tank’s entire content must be emptied out, including solids and sludge, which are the cause of most problems and clogs in septic fields. New technologies have changed our approach to tank cleaning but we recommend that the tank be completely emptied of solids and water. This will prevent problems from occurring between cleanings, and it will also give your septic field a break and allow it more time to absorb excess water.

We recommend that you CALL A SEWAGE TANK TRUCK BEFORE A PLUMBER. In many cases the plumber will say that the problem is in the septic tank and you’ll then need to call a vacuum truck to empty your septic tank and rectify the problem. Call Épursol’s specialists first and we’ll give you a free evaluation.

Blockages between the house and the septic system

If your toilet does not flush anymore, but your sinks still drain properly, then you likely have a blockage in the toilet itself. Such blockages can often be cleared using a plunger or plumber’s snake (this tool can be rented from a hardware store or tool rental store). If these two options do not work, you’ll need to call a plumber to unblock your toilet.

If both your toilets and sinks no longer work, a blockage may be present in the pipes between your house and septic tank. Your best option is to call Épursol and request that your septic tank be emptied and inspected. Once the tank is empty, we’ll be able to run a plumber’s snake to clear the inlet pipe if such blockage is present.


The most common blockages we encounter are due to the accumulation of solids between the pipe and the deflector, which prevents wastewater and solids from entering the tank. Releasing such blockages is usually very easy. The homeowner must open the tank cover and use a shovel to push the blockage away from the pipe. Any wastewater contained in the pipe should then flush itself into the tank, making the system usable again. Please be careful when working around the septic tank. If you are unsure about what to do, call Épursol for service.

Blockages between the tank and the outlet of the septic field

This type of blockage mainly occurs in septic tanks fitted with a filter on the outlet pipe. Such outlet filters are effective in preventing solids from entering septic fields but they can get clogged. Sadly, many septic system installers are good at selling these filters, but fail to mention that THESE FILTERS MUST BE CLEANED AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR. You must open the septic tank lid, remove the filter, rinse it out and reinstall it in the tank. It is important to carefully close the tank lid when you are done.

Be careful when working around the septic tank and contact Épursol if you are unsure in any way.