08 Feb Onsite Sewage Disposal System Owner/Operator Instructions/Guidelines
- Use water sparingly during the first months to allow time for the microorganisms that digest solids to establish. Remember, all water that leaves the house whether by sink, toilet, bath, washing machine, or dishwasher will leave the house through the sewage disposla system (i.e. septic tank and disposal field).
- Erosion control is the responsibility of the system’s owner. Get a stand of grass growin over the sewage disposal system as soon as possible. You may have to water and/or fertilize until the grass is established. However, grass with its unique root system is a vital part of the liquid disposal from the system. Mowing the grass will also enhance the ability of the grass to function as a part of the disposal system.
- SPREAD OUT DAILY WATER USAGE – Washing one load of clothes a day for five days allows for better water absorbtion by the sewage system than washing five loads in one day. It allows time for the systme to decompose the solids and reduces the possible system flooding.
- REPAIR LEAKS from dripping faucets or running toilets (continuous toilet “noises” indicate a probable leak). – One leak can result in an extra 100 gallons a day flooding the system.
- Be cautios about what goes into the system – fats, sanitary items, cigarette butts, and garbage grinder solids do not break down easily in a septic tank. (Disposing of these items in the garbage will improve the septic tank’s function and will reduce the pumping frequency needed.)
- Do not plant trees or bushes near the septic tank or disposal field – Their roots can enter the system and cause extensive clogging problems.
- Do not drive or park vehicles over the septic tank or disposal field – Compaction or breakage could result from excessive weight.
- Do not put chemicals into the system. – Paint solvents, oil, pestisides or unused medication will contaminate ground water.
- Do not cover the disposal field with a driveway, patio, or structure that would prevent the release of water vapor. A healthy stand of grass is an essential part of the disposal system.
- Have your septic tank pumped every 4 to 5 years. The filter should be cleaned every time the tank is pumped. Ask the pumper to verify that the inlet and outlet tees are in good repair.
- Follow manufacturer’s guidelines to clean the septic tank outlet filter when slow flow from the house occurs (More frequent cleaning will not hurt the filter and could improve the septic tank’s performance.)
- Call Tuscaloosa County Health Department at (205) 554-4540 to request an inspection BEFORE making any repair to the system. Inspection/evaluation should be requested if the system shows any of the following warning signals:
- Household plumbing fixtures that back up or do not drain properly.
- Odor problems
- Standing water with an oily or dark color in the sewage disposal system area
- Damp, mush ground in the disposal field area