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Stormwater News

Posted on: January 10, 2024

Is your septic system working properly?

diagram of a conventional septic system (

Unfortunately, if house fixtures drain well, few people investigate whether their septic system works. Many people don’t realize that untreated sewage on top of the ground can be a health hazard. If your system shows signs of problems, contact your local health department immediately.

State law requires that you get a permit from the health department before repairing a failing septic system. Be wary of any contractor who wants to attempt a repair without a permit.

Know how to maintain your septic system:

  • Don’t use too much water.
  • Limit disposal to only sewage.
  • Protect the system from physical damage (site maintenance).
  • Dispose of all wastewater in an approved system.
  • Have solids pumped out of the tank as needed. Most septic tanks have two compartments; get both pumped.

Don’t wait until your drainfield fails to have your tank pumped. By then, the drainfield may be ruined. With septic systems, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure!

Find more information about proper septic system maintenance in these publications from NC State Extension:

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