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Be Smart About Septic

septic smart brochure

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Septic systems (also called onsite wastewater systems) are underground wastewater treatment structures used to treat household wastewater in areas without centralized sanitary sewer systems. A typical onsite system consists of a septic tank and a drainfield (or leachfield). Solids settle-out in the tank and liquid wastewater (effluent) flows to the drainfield where it percolates into the soil. The soil absorption process naturally removes harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients.

If you have a septic system, it’s extremely important to keep up with its proper care and maintenance. This is especially true for streamside properties where proximity to the stream and potential for periodic flooding must be carefully considered. There are concerns with water quality anytime onsite wastewater systems are less than 150 feet from waterways, especially with regard to aging systems and those built before stricter regulations about drainfield sizing and placement were put into place.

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Here Are Four Great Reasons to Ensure That Your System Is Operating Reliably:

  • It keeps your water clean and safe - A properly designed and maintained system helps keep your family’s drinking water pure and reduces the risk of contaminating community, local, and regional waters.
  • It protects the environment - Malfunctioning septic systems release bacteria, viruses, and excess nutrients to local waterways, degrading local ecosystems and harming native plants and aquatic wildlife.
  • It saves you money - Malfunctioning systems can cost thousands of dollars to repair or replace, as compared with maintenance costs of only hundreds of dollars. A typical septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a licensed contractor and your tank pumped as recommended (generally every three to five years).
  • It protects the value of your home - Malfunctioning septic systems can drastically reduce property values, hamper the sale of your home, and even pose a legal liability.