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When you pull the plug or flush the toilet
Ever wondered where the water goes when you shower? When you flush the toilet? When you drain the sink after doing the dishes?
Down the Drain and into the lake
All this water, and everything in it, goes down the drain in your cottage, through some pipes and into the ground – or into something called a “septic system”.
When water is flushed or drained into a septic system, it goes into a big tank underground Most of the dirt, soap, and all the other things that are in that water stay in the tank. This tank is full of millions and millions of little bugs (bacteria) that chew and chew and chew until most of the chunks are super small or made into liquid.
Then… some of that liquid eventually trickles out into a maze of more underground pipes in your yard (called a septic field) to help clean the dirty liquid even more.
Finally, this cleaner liquid makes its way through the ground and into the lake.
But… don’t you drink the water from the lake… or swim in it?
Good reason to be careful what you put down the drain or down the toilet!
Those bugs in your septic system were never meant to chew up oil, grease, paper, paint or any other weird things. So, this kind of stuff sometimes travels with the liquid down towards the lake OR stays in the tank and doesn’t go away.
We don’t ever want the septic tank to have things in it that harm water, fish, bugs and wildlife (and us!). We all drink the lake water or swim in it.
We don’t want our lakes to get polluted so please be careful!
How do you know your septic system is working?
If you go for a walk around your yard and you notice any of these things, let your parents know. There may be something wrong if you notice:
- REALLY green or spongy grass
- REALLY stinky smell, especially after it rains
- The water in the toilet or sink drains REALLY slow