Home Sewage Treatment Systems Rules Update
From the Ohio Department of Health Website Regarding your Septic Tank
Don’t let rumors lead you into expensive repairs and unnecessary sewage system replacements. Ohio’s new sewage rules will NOT require everyone in the state to automatically replace their septic system.
The new sewage rules are going into place for several reasons:
They haven’t been updated since 1977
While some counties have modernized their own rules since then, other counties have not. These rules will set a minimum standard for Ohio homeowners so you can be assured that your neighbor’s system is not leaking sewage into your yard- or the ponds, lakes and other waterways that you and your family enjoy.
Be A Good Neighbor
Without proper maintenance and good system design, your sewage could go into your neighbor’s yard (and their sewage could come into your yard) contaminating the ground water with disease-causing germs like E.coli, Salmonella, Shigella, polio, hepatitis, Cryptosporidium.
In addition to the diseases themselves, mosquitoes and flies that spread some illnesses can breed in areas where liquid waste reaches the surface.
The problems of a failing septic system don’t stop at your property line. Sewage and disease can impact the health of your neighbors and your community.
In addition to creeping into the yard next door, contaminates such as E.coli can get into our beaches. The Ohio Department of Health has identified home sewage system discharge as a contributing factor to unhealthy bacteria levels at Ohio’s beaches. When the levels reach a certain point, the beach must issue an advisory and the beach manager can even close it to the public.
Your septic system won’t last forever, but you can extend the life of it and delay expensive replacement with maintenance and replacement of broken parts. Ohio’s new sewage system rules DO NOT require everyone to automatically replace their system with new technology. You will have to replace your system WHEN it fails- but that’s been the law in Ohio since 1977. These new septic system rules give you more options to fix it before it fails and more ways to prevent sewage from making you, your family, your neighbors and your community sick from the germs of septic waste.
Protect Your Pocketbook
Most sewage systems will fail sometime. Just like the roof on your house, a septic system is designed to have a lifetime of about 20-30 years, under the best conditions.
Eventually, the soil around the absorption field becomes clogged with organic material, making the system unusable.
But by far the most common reason for early failure is improper maintenance by homeowners. When a system is poorly maintained and not pumped out on a regular basis, sludge (solid material) builds up inside the septic tank, then flows into the absorption field, clogging it beyond repair.
The most obvious effect is the direct expense of replacing your septic system. This could cost $8,000 to $10,000. Systems with motors and parts will need to be serviced over the years, too. Just like you would with any other service professional, be sure to shop around for quotes and references. Your local health department can also tell you which septic system contractors are registered and bonded.
Amount and frequency set by local health department; proposed rules say the maximum operation permit length is ten years.
Just like furnace or the roof on your house, your septic system will probably need to be replaced every 20-30 years- but you can plan for it. As a resident in the country or suburbs, you do not have to pay the average yearly city sewer fee of $450.
When it is time to replace your system, you could qualify for assistance:
Community Development Block Grant Funds, Community Housing Improvement Program and Rural Housing and Rural Utilities Programs are all available resources. For more information, contact your local health department