On-site sewage disposal is a large portion of the work completed by the Environmental Health Division. Sewage effluent is a concoction of many things such as pathogenic microorganisms, which are capable of causing a variety of diseases such as hepatitis, cholera, E. coli, etc., leading to illness or even death if untreated.
Sewage contains inorganic chemicals, such as nitrates in, which at high levels can cause blue-baby syndrome, as well as organic chemicals, such as solvents and pesticides, which are mutagens and neurological toxicants. These contaminants are illegally discharged from homes often by means of old field tile connections and/or surface failures finally making their way to surface and drinking water supplies of Hamilton County.
The goal of the Health Department is to identify such unlawful conditions and abate the conditions through regulatory enforcement. Water sample results and positive dye tests of homes confirm investigations of possible sewage discharges.
Here are ten simple steps you can take to keep your septic system working properly.
1. Locate your septic tank and absorption field. Keep a drawing of these locations in your records.
2. Have your septic system inspected at least every three years.
3. Pump your septic tank as needed (generally every three to five years).
4. Don't dispose of household hazardous wastes in sinks or toilets.
5. Keep other household items, such as dental floss, feminine hygiene products, condoms, diapers, and cat litter out of your system.
6. Use water efficiently.
7. Plant only grass over and near your septic system. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs might clog and damage the system. Also, do not apply manure or fertilizers over the absorption field.
8. Keep vehicles and livestock off your septic system. The weight can damage the pipes and tank, and your system may not drain properly under compacted soil.
9. Keep gutters and basement sump pumps from draining into or near your septic system.
10. The use of septic tank additives are not necessary, and may upset the positive microbial activity within the system. Commercial septic tank additives do not eliminate the need for periodic pumping and can be harmful to your system.