Operation and Maintenance

If your home or business uses an onsite wastewater treatment system, commonly known as a septic system, you need to know how to operate and maintain the system properly to prevent pollution and sewage backups.

For many years, people in the United States viewed onsite systems as a temporary way to manage wastewater for homes until they were connected to a centralized sewer system.  In the past, about 25 % of the U.S. homes used septic systems.  Now, about 37% of the homes being built have onsite wastewater treatment systems.  Onsite systems are now considered a permanent solution for treating wastewater.

Consequently, it is vital that residents maintain them regularly so that they do not pollute the environment and pose health hazards to people.  All onsite wastewater treatment systems require operation and maintenance.  To understand how to operate and maintain onsite wastewater treatment systems, it helps to know how they work and what factors affect them.

You may wish to obtain fact sheets from this website for specifics on a system or consult manufacturers’ literature.  Onsite system owners may wish to hire a licensed OSSF professional to ensure their system continues to function properly.  A Homeowners Guide to Evaluating Service Contracts will help you determine what type of contract you need for your system.  Proper operation and maintenance can protect your family’s health, protect the environment, and increase your systems lifespan, saving you money in the long run.

Related Resources:

 Operation and Maintenance (and in Spanish)

 Homeowner’s Guide to Evaluating Service Contracts

interactive_tool_icon   Interactive tool: How a septic system works

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