September 21, 2015 marked the beginning of the third annual Septic Smart Week. Septic Smart Week is a program created by the Environmental Protection Agency to educate septic system owners about the importance of proper septic system care and maintenance.
Did you know that approximately one-quarter of American households have septic systems, and nearly 60,000 of those are located right here in Thurston County? Septic systems come with homeowner responsibility - you don’t pay sewer fees, but need to save up for regular maintenance costs such as inspections and pumping. A poorly-maintained system may lower your property values and puts the health of our families and communities at risk. If you are unsure if your home is served by an on-site septic system, contact the Septic Helpline at (360) 867-2669 and ask for the septic system record drawings of your home.
If you have a septic system, take steps to prevent its failure. If you notice any of the following, contact a septic system professional immediately to prevent further damage to your system and pollution of the drinking water in your area.
- A strong odor around the septic tank and/or drainfield
- Pooling water and/or surfacing sewage in the area of your septic system
- Bright green, spongy grass on the drainfield, especially during dry weather conditions
- Wastewater backing up into drains in your home
The average cost of repairing or replacing a conventional home septic system can be $10,000 or more, while regular inspection and maintenance typically costs only $150 to $300 each year. Every system and situation is unique and is influenced by four things: size of your household, amount of water used by your household, type and size of septic tank, and soil conditions. Regular care and maintenance of your system protects not only your home’s property value, but your family, your community, and the environment, from exposure to dangerous bacteria and viruses if your system fails.
For more information about how to properly maintain your septic system, visit our website by clicking here, or call our Septic Helpline at (360) 867-2669.
Thurston County Environmental Health maintains a database of septic system professionals who are currently certified to perform services in the county. Click here to access our lists of qualified designers, professional engineers, installers, pumpers, and monitoring specialists. When hiring any contractor, be sure to get multiple estimates, check their references and certifications, and be clear about what services you are requesting.