March & April
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Septic System Maintenance Information

When households are far from public sewer systems, in a rural area or very small community, a home sewage treatment system is the way to manage household waste. To help homeowners maintain these systems and keep them working correctly, people working to address water quality in the Wolf Creek/Maumee Bay region have produced and are distributing educational materials.

In addition to presentation at area school “science nights,” the partners produced a short video showing how septic systems work and how homeowners should maintain them. The video is posted on Youtube here. It shows how a standard system works and how to keep it in good working order. Fundamentals of maintenance include:
• Keep groundwater away from the leach field (direct downspouts away)
• Do not park on the field
• Do not plant anything except grass on the field
• Avoid flooding the tank: space out laundry loads and showers, don’t drain swimming    pools into the system
• Do not flush anything except waste and tissue
• Garbage disposals add solids to your tank and will require more frequent cleanouts
• Have your septic system drained and inspected every three to five years

Jerry Bingham, supervisor at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, said that the educational program is needed. “We’ve seen occasions where a person has just bought a house and doesn’t know where their septic tank is, or has never had to maintain a system before. We want to reach these people to help them treat waste safely and protect water quality.”

The Health Department will help homeowners learn more about their septic systems at no cost. People who have questions about how a septic system works or who would like to find out how their system is operating, are invited to call 419.213.4100.


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