What the Homeowner Should Know

Many people don’t give a second thought to what happens after the toilet is flushed. But think about it…where does all of it go? How is it filtered to become safe to enter watersheds and aquifers? Here is a little overview of how a conventional septic system works. The diagram below shows the flow of things. The type, depth, and construction of the drain-field are imperative to the proper filtration of sewage. A drain field should not just be thrown in at whatever depth or location. Oxygen is needed for the proper cleaning of sewage. So if the drain pipes are too deep then good bacteria can’t grow to destroy the harmful bacteria in the waste before it seeps down to groundwater aquifers. There is a scientific process to ensure that the sewage is filtered properly to make it safe. Because let’s face it, what you flush is eventually what you drink. So, let’s make sure that the water we give our kids is safe.

Wastewater can be an extreme environmental hazard if not properly contained, channeled, and filtered. Creeks, rivers, wet-weather creeks, ponds, lakes and private well systems can easily become contaminated with E.coli and other bacteria if sewage is able to seep into the water. This, in turn, can create health hazards for pets, children, wildlife, and drinking water. With many homes and businesses relying on well water in this area of the country, protecting aquifers and wells from contamination starts with ensuring wastewater systems are constructed in such a way that waste is filtered correctly through the soil. The soil cleans and filters sewage. This first step is making sure that the wastewater drain field is constructed properly. Adhering to State Regulations will aid in ensuring that the environment and your water supply is kept clean and safe. Make sure to hire a registered State Installer and obtain a Soil Report. Ensuring that sewage is not spilled out onto the ground or allowed to pool and become a major health and environmental risk is all of our responsibility. Please be sure that all wastewater is contained, collected, and disposed of properly and legally.

Feel free to call the Environmental office at Webster County Health Unit at 417-859-2532. We are always happy to answer your questions.