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Chances are, if you are reading this, you probably own, or at least know someone who owns a septic system.

What is a septic system?

* A septic system is an individual wastewater treatment system that uses the soil to treat wastewater.

*A septic system has two main parts, a holding tank and an absorption field. A third step can be added between the septic tank and the absorption field for further treatment.

*Sewage from the home enters into the septic tank where heavier solids settle out and scum rises to the surface. The water between the scum and solid layer enters into the absorption field where it trickles down into the soil.

It is important to take care of your septic system!

Use water wisely.

When the septic system's absorption field is waterlogged it hinders its ability to treat waste
When it is feasible, conserve water and allow time between activities that require a lot of water like washing machines, dishwashers and baths.

Avoid rinsing hazardous chemicals down the drain.
Hazardous chemicals may kill the bacteria and microorganisms working in your septic system to break down waste.

Don't plant any vegetation other than grass over your septic system.
More specifically, don't plant any trees or shrubs over the system. Roots from trees and shrubs may clog your absorption field preventing it from properly treating waste.

Don't drive or operate heavy machinery over your system.
Heavy machines can cause compaction in your absorption field.
Compaction will reduce the ability of your absorption field to filter and treat wastewater.

"Why should I?" you ask...

Failing septic systems are expensive to repair or replace.
By maintaining your septic system you can help prevent problems that may lead to repairs or having to replace your septic system.
~$250 to have your septic system inspected or septic tank pumped.
$5,000 - $12,000 to have it repaired or replaced.

The health of your family and community depends on it.
Untreated wastewater poses significant health risks to anyone who comes into contact with it.
If your septic system is not functioning properly, and needs repairs or replacing, your system may be discharging untreated waste on to your yard or into a nearby stream.
Failed systems decline property values and the value of local recreational areas.

Pump your septic tank regularly and have your septic system inspected annually.
Pumping your septic tank removes solids and prevents them from clogging the absorption field.
Inspection will catch any problems early, possibly lowering the cost of repairs.

Is your septic system failing?
Here are some signs that may be telling you that your system is failing:

  • Slowly draining sinks and toilets
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing
  • Plumbing backups
  • Sewage odors in the house or yard
  • Ground is wet or mushy above your septic system's leach field
  • Grass is greener or grows faster above your leach field
  • Tests show the presence of bacteria in nearby streams or wells

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