We talk so often about how septic systems are scapegoated for water quality issues that we experience in Florida. With Lake Okechobee releases continuing to bring green algae and diminish the water quality in our rivers and beaches, it’s important that we do our part to eliminate as much waste as we can from our natural water resources. For some that means attending political rallies and writing letters to politicians, but for septic owners you have the ability to impact our water quality right in your backyard.
How can septic systems contribute to water quality issues?
Poorly maintained septic systems can leak wastewater and effluent into the ground, increasing nitrogen levels in the soil and potentially contaminating the groundwater supply. Over time, a septic tank can crack or drainfield pipes can become clogged and sewage can leak out of them if they’re not properly maintained.
How can I ensure that my septic tank isn’t polluting our waters?
The biggest thing to do is have it pumped regularly. Septic systems should be pumped every 3 to 5 years, or soon if you start to experience any of the following symptoms that you tank should be pumped:
- Slow drains
- Sewage backing up into your home
- Surfacing of effluent on the ground surface near your drainfield
- Smell of sewage in your home
Don’t know how long it has been since your last pumpout?
If you don’t know how long it has been since your last pump-out, you should definitely consider a septic system inspection. Poorly maintained septic systems can develop drainfield issues that may not be easily identified with a routine pump-out. If you’ve just purchased your home and have yet to get a pump-out, having a copy of an inspection is important, since many contracts map out the schematic of your septic system.
The quality of our water in Southwest Florida is diminished by the discharged from Lake Okeechobee and the dumping from municipal treatment facilities. Do your part by ensuring that your septic system is pumped out and inspected and not polluting our local waters. The more responsibly we act as homeowners, the more we can help eliminate the sources of groundwater contamination and show the government who is really responsible for our water quality issues.
Have a system that needs pumping? Give the experts at Crews Environmental a call.