The EPA has available Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual EPA/625/R-00/008 which provides extensive technical information on proper design of on-site wastewater treatment systems such as septic tank systems. The manual provides up-to-date information on onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) siting, design, installation, maintenance, and replacement. It reflects significant advances that the expert community has identified to help OWTSs become more cost-effective and environmentally protective, particularly in small suburban and rural areas.
The overview from that manual reads as follows: Onsite wastewater treatment systems collect, treat, and release about 4 billion gallons of treated effluent per day from an estimated 26 million homes, businesses, and recreational facilities nationwide (U.S. Census Bureau, 1997). These systems, defined in this manual as those serving fewer than 20 people, include treatment units for both individual buildings and small clusters of buildings connected to a common treatment system. Recognition of the impacts of onsite systems on ground water and surface water quality (e.g., nitrate and bacteria contamination, nutrient inputs to surface waters) has increased interest in optimizing the systems' performance. Public health and environmental protection officials now acknowledge that onsite systems are not just temporary installations that will be replaced eventually by centralized sewage treatment services, but permanent approaches to treating wastewater for release and reuse in the environment. Onsite systems are recognized as potentially viable, low-cost, long-term, decentralized approaches to wastewater treatment if they are planned, designed, installed, operated, and maintained properly (USEPA, 1997). ...read the manual
As background to the LOZ Clean Lake Initiative Prgram,
we recommend review of the following:
1. Jan 28 Meeting Minutes
2. Missouri Attorney General Koster's White Paper
3. Jan 27 Video of Koster's Report
4. AG Koster LOZ Recommendations Press Release
5.Past Years Lake Reports
Onsite septic systems are individual septic systems on a single lot servicing one home. Many on-site septic sytwems were installed prior to the 1996 on-site septic law regulating these systems. ...read the rest of "Clean Lake Initiative Program"
As your system is used, solid materials settle to the bottom of the tank, forming a sludge layer. Grease and lightweight materials float to the surface of the septic tank as scum.
Normally, properly designed tanks have enough space for up to 3 to 5 years' safe accumulation of sludge. When the sludge level increases beyond this point, sewage has less time to settle properly before leaving the tank. As the sludge level increases, more solid wastes escape into the soil absorption system (SAS). If the SAS becomes so clogged that it cannot absorb liquid at the rate at which it enters the tank, the plumbing will "back up" or unsanitary wastewater will bubble to the surface.
Regular pumping helps prevent solids from escaping into the drainfield and clogging soil pores. While pumping frequency is a function of use, it is recommends that systems be pumped at least once every 3 years for homes not having a garbage disposal.
All THIS AND A FREE MEAL TOO!
Thanks to all those who attended the workshop in Laurie,
below for dates, times and locations of the workshops.
MO-DNR and the pump company will provide the pump-out service at a substantial discount. In addition, those who attend the informational meetings will receive an additional discount.
For a taste of what to expect at the Septic Tank Workshops, watch this Channel 90 LOWA round'table video
Neglecting your system could cause the drainfield to becomes plugged beyond repair. This may force you to replace your existing system with an engineered system that could cost as much as $30,000!