Wastewater History and Health Hazards

Does water pool or pond around your spray heads or surface around your septic drain field? Does your septic system or the water being sprayed out smell bad? Does your control panel have a red or amber light that stays on or have your silenced an alarm and not called to have it investigated? The switch on the outside of your septic control panel in NOT a “reset”, it is a “mute” switch for the alarm and also possibly a “test” switch to see if the alarm works.

These wet areas create breeding grounds for waterborne diseases that threaten your family and pets. If your system is indicating a problem, you need to get it checked out by a professional and repaired as soon as possible. This could indicate things like: the effluent pump or spray pump has malfunctioned, the aerator has malfunctioned, or the control panel has an electrical issue which could be the sign of something about to malfunction. Unless all components of your septic are working, how can it be expected to provide adequate treatment of your wastewater?

Proper maintenance of septic tanks is a public health essential. Enteric diseases can be transmitted through human excrement. Historically, major epidemics of cholera and typhoid fever were mainly caused by inappropriate disposal of wastewater. Sanitation problems connected to wastewater are primarily concerned with the adequacy and maintenance of collection and treatment systems. For instance, improperly maintained on-site systems or poorly constructed sewers and plumbing in houses can be potential sources of sewage related problems. On-site disposal systems can fail due to high groundwater and the clogging of absorption fields. Malfunctions or breakdowns may also occur if the owner of an on-site system fails to perform proper maintenance. The failure of most on-site disposal systems is strongly associated with poor design, poor installation, and owner abuse. Drinking water contaminated with sewage is the principal cause of waterborne diseases. Occasional outbreaks remind us that these diseases are still around and very much a threat if allowed to persist.