A guidance document issued by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services with instructions and best practices for the abandonment of onsite wastewater treatment systems.
1. Check the toilets for leaks - a simple toilet leak can easily overload your system. Easily test for toilet leaks by removing the lid and putting a generous amount of food coloring into the back of the toilet. Do not flush! Wait approximately 20 minutes and if the food coloring makes it into the bowl of the toilet, this is an indication that the toilet is leaking. Use the following link as a resource for a “do it yourself” fix or feel free to give us a call or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a referral to a plumber in your area. ( http://www.fluidmaster.com/do-it-yourself )
In our last article on septic systems in Whispering Pines, North Carolina we mentioned how critical it is to maintain our septic systems properly. This is both for the health and safety of the individual homeowner as well as assuring the purity of one of our most treasured natural resources, the eight community lakes that make Whispering Pines, North Carolina so beautiful and sought after as a place to live.
Every home in Whispering Pines, North Carolina has its own private wastewater septic system which consists of a watertight container (usually a precast reinforced concrete tank although it may be made of plastic or fiberglass) connected to a drainfield. When properly designed and maintained, it is a both a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to dispose of wastewaters produced in a home's bathroom, kitchen and laundry.
The major reason for safe disposal of sewage is to prevent the spread of disease. If a septic system is properly sited, is working properly, and has been maintained regularly, it will effectively and efficiently remove disease-causing bacteria. With one-third of the U.S. population using septic systems, over 1 trillion gallons of waste per year is disposed of below the ground's surface from individual septic systems. Nutrients from failing septic systems can also cause serious health problems. For example, nitrate poses a significant threat to the health of human infants. When ingested, nitrate can interfere with the blood's ability to carry oxygen, causing methemoglobinemia or "blue baby" syndrome.
The drainfield is a vital part of your septic system. Having the right landscaping on and around your system is important, as tree and shrubbery roots can grow into the drain lines. Also, other heavy items like cars and livestock can break drain lines. Strong roots and heavy items can cause the drainfield to fail. And if the drainfield fails, your system fails.
1. Do not put too much water into the septic system; typical water use is about 50 gallons per day for each person in the family.