IN Phoenixville Area Fall 2017 - Page 60

Homeowner’s Guide for On-Lot Septic Systems There are over 400 properties in East Pikeland Township not connected to public sewer; instead they have on-lot septic systems to handle sewage waste. It is important that these homeowners understand their responsibility when it comes to maintenance: Septic tanks must be pumped at least once every three (3) years, or whenever an inspection reveals the tank is in excess of 1/3 full of the liquid depth of the tank. Cesspools, dry-wells, alternative and experimental systems should be inspected and serviced accordingly to maintain efficient operation of the system; the frequency may depend on its capacity and volume of use. Holding tanks should be pumped as necessary to maintain the contents at a level less than 75% of the tank capacity. Malfunctioning systems can contaminate surface and groundwater, cause various health problems, and spread disease, as well as create unsightly messes and foul odors when raw sewage surfaces or backs up into the home. If you are properly maintaining your system, we thank you. If you have not had your system inspected or pumped within the last 3 years, you should arrange to have it done as soon as possible! All pumping must be done by a Chester County Health Department Licensed Liquid Waste Hauler and reports filed with the County. Tips to prevent malfunctions and ensure the long-term use of an on-lot septic system: • Conserve water and reduce waste flow into the septic tank. • Pump the tank at least every 3 years, depending upon tank size and household size. • Inspect the septic tank, pipes and drainage field annually. • Maintain accurate records of inspections, pumping, malfunctions, and repairs. • Prevent run-off from downspouts, sump pumps, pavement, etc. from getting into the septic system. • Keep heavy vehicles, equipment and livestock away from the septic system. • DO NOT plant trees and shrubs over or close to the septic system. Information on maintenance of your system, including the On-Lot Sewage Systems Manual, a list of licensed liquid waste haulers, and other related materials are available on the Chester County Health Department website at www.chesco.org/health. 58 Phoenixville Area