Monday, June 29, 2009

Home Septic System Successes

By Dustin Bilhimer, Water Quality Program

Is your septic system acting up? When your home's septic system fails, it's more than a wet stinky mess. It's expensive to repair and it's a health hazard to you and your family.

A lot of people have learned the hard way that regular inspection and maintenance can prevent system failures and save you money in repair costs.

The Department of Ecology is working with local governments (contact your local health district here) and citizens to help cover costs for septic system repair/replacement where we find water pollution problems are caused by failing residential septic systems.

These partnerships are leading to improved working relationships between the public and government agencies. This cooperation leads to clean water solutions.

A recent success story from the Colville River watershed highlighted how homeowners received grant money from Ecology and the Conservation Commission to replace their septic systems.

Actions followed the implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and water quality improvement plan to clean-up fecal coliform bacteria pollution in the Colville watershed. After homeowners got their problem septic systems repaired, the district's water quality monitoring began showing signs of cleaner water.

Ecology and local governments offer different combinations of loans and grants to ease the cost of replacing failing septic systems where water quality needs to be improved. Here are several examples of Ecology providing financial assistance in other parts of the state:
Do you know how to properly maintain your septic system to prevent problems? Click here to learn how or go to Ecology’s Washington Waters homepage to learn more about what you can do to protect our water quality.

Are you interested in other water quality success stories? Click here.

Want to find out if there is a TMDL in your area? Click here.

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