If your home has a Septic System- it requires Regular Maintenance!
The following information is from Westchester County.gov
Leaking and poorly maintained septic systems release nutrients, bacteria and viruses that can be picked up by stormwater and released into nearby waterbodies.
How well does your septic system work?
Septic systems are more prevalent in the northern Westchester County communities. These homeowners rely on septic systems to treat and dispose of household wastewater. Properly designed, installed, and maintained septic systems have little adverse effect on the environment. As a homeowner, you have a major influence on how well your septic system works.
What you can do
Maintenance is the single most important consideration in making sure a septic system will work well over a long period of time. Too often homeowners forget that whatever goes down the drain or toilet ultimately either finds its way into the soil or remains in the septic tank until it is pumped out. Use common sense and you should have few problems with your septic system.
The following maintenance practices will keep your system running smoothly:
Know the location of all components of your septic system; keep heavy vehicles away from the system.
This process requires time. To permit enough time for settling and floatation, regulations require that septic tanks be sized according to the expected daily flow and waste water from your home.
The soil absorption system (drainfield) consists of a distribution box, perforated distribution lines made of tile, and an area of soil. The soil absorption system receives wastewater from the septic tank and removes harmful, disease-causing micro-organisms, organics and nutrients. For this part of the system to function properly, it must be constructed carefully on suitable soil.
The soil needs time to filter out these harmful materials from the wastewater. Sand is not a suitable soil because it allows wastewater to pass through too fast and clay accepts only small amounts of wastewater. State and local regulations that determine what constitutes suitable soil have been developed after careful consideration of many factors that affect a soil’s ability to adequately treat domestic waste-water.
The threat of disease is a key problem with treating human wastewater. The epidemics that killed millions of people in the Middle Ages were caused by mixing of human waste with drinking water supplies. Domestic wastewater contains bacteria and viruses that cause dysentery, hepatitis, and typhoid fever. To protect your health, it’s important to exclude these organisms from both surface and groundwater. That is why sewage treatment plants use chlorine and other biocides (substances destructive to many organisms). Fortunately, soil and soil bacteria can effectively remove pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms from wastewater treated in a properly functioning septic system.
The Westchester County Department of Health provides more information and has lists of licensed septic contractors, professional engineers and registered architects.