OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Septic Systems

Septic Systems

Contamination Evidence:
  • Wastewater shows above ground.
  • Detection of excessive bacteria, and chemicals in well water tests.
Causes:
  • Poor installation and/or maintenance
  • Disposal of household chemicals, such as paint thinners, into system.
  • Overloading the system with a garbage disposal unit.
  • Use of septic tank cleaning additives.
  • Too many closely-spaced septic systems in a limited area.
Prevention:
  • Proper installation.
  • Inspection and cleaning every 2-4 years; annually if garbage disposal used.
  • Do not dispose of household chemicals into the system.
  • Ban hazardous cleaning additives for septic systems.
  • Develop local septic system codes.
  • Public sewers when feasible.
  • Public information and education.