For most people, a wastewater treatment (septic) system is the means of disposing and treating wastewater from the home if you live out in the country. Anything that is put down the drain should go to a properly maintained system. Today’s wastewater treatment system utilizes soil to break down the sewage and absorb it. A properly working system will prevent contamination of ground water (your well water) and also prevent contamination of the ground surface and surface water.
Older homes – built before the 1960’s may only have a septic tank with a 4-inch diameter pipe connecting the tank to a field tile or ran to the nearest ditch. Homes built between the 1960’s and 2001 may have a sand filtration system following the septic tank, but these systems also ultimately are connected to a field tile or ditch. Homes built since 2001 have a septic tank and an absorption system that does not discharge raw sewage to a field tile or ditch.
The Environmental Public Health Division addresses these older systems when we receive a complaint or during a home loan evaluation request for the system. We understand that there are many old systems in our County that need replacement. We try to work with homeowners to resolve any sewage problems as cost-effectively as possible. Our Division has many resources available for the homeowner to check into for funding of replacement systems.
Older systems must be upgraded or replaced when an existing mobile home is replaced with another mobile home or if a home is destroyed and being rebuilt or replaced. Contact the Environmental Public Health Division for more information at 419.485.3141.
The Environmental Public Health Division completes a soil profile (also knows as a perc test) to determine the type, size, and best location for a system. Every system needs at least 24 inches of suitable soil to treat sewage before the sewage reaches any restricting condition such as:
- a water table
- compacted soil
- glacial till
- extreme porosity
- other conditions that may effect the performance of the system
- My septic system isn’t working properly, but I’m afraid to call. What should I do?
Most homeowners are reluctant to contact the Environmental Public Health Division when they are experiencing problems with their septic system. Below are a few suggestions to try before giving us a call, but if you have eliminated possible reasons for problems you are experiencing, please trust that the Environmental Public Health Division desires to work with homeowners in getting the problems resolved. If this can be done without replacing the system that is our goal; however all things – septic systems included – do have a life expectancy and sometimes do have to be replaced. We can provide you with possible funding information if repair or replacement is necessary. Before you call us, eliminate wasted water by checking out the following:
- Have the septic tank pumped by a licensed pumper; ask him if the tank is in good condition
- DO NOT use septic tank additives – you’re wasting your money and additives can damage the system.
- Do you have a footer sump pump connected to the septic system? If so, disconnect it from the system (unless your laundry water also drains into this sump pump).
- Is your water softener connected to the septic system? If so, disconnect it from the system.
- Change downspouts so they do not discharge on top of the leachfield.
- Check toilets – are they constantly “running”? If yes, repair them.
- Check faucets & shower heads – are they constantly dripping? If yes, repair them.
- Do not leave water running when brushing teeth, shaving, or at the kitchen sink needlessly.
- Install “low flow” shower heads, toilets and other water saving features.
- Cut down on the length of showers.
- Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
- Divert any surface water drainage away from the leachfield.
- Can I install my own septic system?
Yes, you can install your own septic system. You must take a test the Environmental Division administers. There is no charge for this service. Contact the Environmental Public Health Division at 419-485-3141 for information.
- How do I contact my Township Trustee and Zoning Inspector?
Contact the Environmental Public Health Division at 419-485-3141 for information.
- My neighbor’s septic system isn’t working properly. What can be done?
Click here to complete the Investigation Request Form and mail, fax or deliver it to the Environmental Division.