What Kind Of Mask Should I Use For Septic Tank? (TOP 5 Tips)

The N95 respirator is recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The fit of your respirator is always important. Make sure that there is a tight seal between the face and mask. A leak would result in the inhalation of contaminated air.

Does an N95 mask block mold spores?

An N95 mask protects you from breathing in small particles in the air such as dust and mold. It is designed to filter out at least 95% of the dust and mold in the air.

Can you get sick from septic tank fumes?

The fumes that waft out of a failing septic tank and into your home can carry airborne bacteria. These pathogens can make your family ill by triggering sinus infections and other respiratory illnesses when breathed in on a regular basis.

What are the precautions to be taken while constructing septic tank?


  • Use a sturdy septic tank lid and mark off its location.
  • don’t lean over the tank opening.
  • don’t ignite flames near septic.
  • be alert to shock and electrical wire hazards.
  • don’t enter or retrieve someone from a tank.
  • don’t drive over your septic system.
  • never work alone around a septic system.

How do I stop my septic tank from smelling?

Avoid pouring fats, oils, coffee grounds, cleaning products, paints, or other chemicals down your sink or tub drains. These can disrupt sewage breakdown inside the tank and cause a foul odor. Adding a cup of baking soda to a sink drain or toilet once a week will help maintain the correct pH level in the septic tank.

Is N95 mask better?

An N95 offers the highest level of protection. It offers more protection than a medical mask does because it filters out both large and small particles when the wearer inhales. Non-surgical N95s can be used by the general public. The CDC has said surgical N95 masks should be reserved for health care providers.

Are P100 better than N95?

The number in a rating tells you the minimum amount of airborne challenge particles the mask protects against: an N95 mask keeps out at least 95% of particles but isn’t oil resistant, and a P100 mask is oil proof while protecting the wearer from at least 99.8% of particles.

How toxic is septic tank?

Septic tanks continue to be health hazards as they produce sewer gases which can be toxic to human beings and also cause greenhouse effect. Septic tank gas poisoning can be fatal if inhaled in high concentrations or for prolonged periods.

Why do septic tanks explode?

Why Do Septic Tanks Explode? The most common reason that septic tanks explode is the methane gas. The organic matter that ends up in your septic tank breaks down, as it should. This process is called Anaerobic Digestion and it produces methane gas, which is combustiable and can explode.

Why does my bathroom smell like sewage at night?

A dry P-trap is one of the most common causes of sewer smell in your bathroom. The P-trap is a U-shaped pipe located under the sink or drains. Just run some water into the sink for a minute or so, and the problem is fixed. You can also add a little baking soda into the drains to eliminate any possibility of clogging.

Can you build a deck over a septic tank?

You should never build a deck over a septic field; doing so will prevent the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent. This can ruin the septic system, not to mention releasing foul smells into the air all around your deck. The dissipating effluent can also rot the deck from underneath.

Can we build bathroom above septic tank?

The outlet of the tank should either be in the east or west direction. It should never be in the south. Avoid construction of any bedroom, Pooja room or kitchen above the septic tank. As staircases aremostly found outside the houses, you can place a septic tank under the staircase as per Vastu Shastra guidelines.

How much soil should be over a septic tank?

the depth of soil backfill over the septic tank lid or septic tank riser lid, ranging from 0″ (which means you should see it) to just a few inches (which means grass may be dead in this area) to 6-12″ or even more.

How do I stop my bathroom from smelling like my septic?

8 Ways to Get Rid of Sewer Gas Smell

  1. Clean the sink overflow.
  2. Check the toilet wax ring.
  3. Caulk the toilet base.
  4. Clean out bacterial growth in drains.
  5. Check rarely used bathtubs and sinks.
  6. Check for leaks.
  7. Inspect your garbage disposal splash guard.
  8. Schedule a video drain inspection.

Is Zoflora safe for septic tanks?

Undiluted Zoflora can be poured down ceramic and metal sinks, drains and toilets to kill bacteria and viruses, whilst also eliminating odours. Is Zoflora suitable to use if you have a septic tank? Yes.

Does baking soda harm septic tanks?

Will baking soda hurt a septic system? Baking soda and other common household solutions such as vinegar are not harmful to your septic system. Harsh chemicals such as bleach and ammonia can disrupt the good bacteria in your septic tank and should not be used as part of a septic treatment.

Septic Tank Safety Warnings

Please adhere to these safety precautions at all times.

  • Do not bend over the opening of a septic tank or push your head into the tank to see its inside – you might be overpowered by fumes, fall into the tank, and suffocate. Leave tank cleaning and maintenance to the hands of skilled specialists only. Never enter a septic tank unless you have received special training and are wearing specialized equipment and clothing designed specifically for the task, such as a self-contained breathing apparatus. If you are not equipped with a self-contained breathing equipment, you should not enter a septic tank to rescue someone who has fallen in and become overpowered by fumes. Instead, contact for emergency services and place one or more fans at the top of the septic tank to allow fresh air to circulate through the tank
  • Never work alone in or around a septic tank
  • It is extremely dangerous. Don’t use any open flames or smoke cigarettes near or around the fuel tank. This has the potential to trigger an explosion. Inspect the tank and its access ports to ensure that the covers are solid and secure, that they do not collapse, and that they cannot be removed or shoved aside by youngsters or animals. Keep an eye out for septic systems that are outdated and crumbling. Unsafe septic tank covers have resulted in the deaths of children, adults, dogs, horses, and other livestock in abandoned septic tanks. Be on the lookout for signs of sinking soil, rusted-through steel septic tank covers, home-made wooden or weak tank covers, or homemade cesspools and drywells that are at risk of collapsing. When excavating in the yard, keep an eye out for electrical risks. Make sure you don’t dig into an electrical wire and cause it to short out (or other buried mechanical line such as a gas or water line). Buried electrical lines can have a similar appearance to tree roots. Hazardous areas should be cordoned off and marked
  • Always be on the lookout for unhygienic circumstances such as surface effluent or sewage backups inside buildings, which might expose your family to major virus and bacterial risks. Depending on the situation, professional cleaning may be required indoors. Do not drive over your septic tank or the plumbing that connects to it. It has the potential to collapse. It is necessary to protect a septic line that runs under a driveway with specific materials or to install it in a concrete-covered and protected trench of sufficient depth if the line must be routed under the road.


Septic Tank Alerts Septic Tank Alerts

Could Your Septic Job Make You Sick?

Norweco provided the image used here.

Interested in Safety?

Receive safety articles, news, and videos delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Safety+ Receive Notifications It is inevitable that wastewater will include fecal coliforms. These bacteria may be found in the intestines of all warm-blooded animals, including humans, and they are a source of infection. Despite the fact that they are necessary for digestion, they are also markers of the presence of infections. Pathogens such as Giardia, Cryptosporidia, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio cholerae, and other pathogens will only be present if persons who use the wastewater treatment system are infected with the pathogen.

Viruses and pathogens are abundant in wastewater, and they may be found almost anyplace and on anything that comes into touch with the wastewater.

The highest concentrations of bacteria are found in the septic tank, and their numbers decrease as wastewater is treated as it travels down the drainage system.

  • Delivered straight to your inbox: safety articles, news, and videos Make your registration right now. Safety+ Receive Notifications. Fecal coliforms will be present in every wastewater. All warm-blooded animals, including humans, have bacteria in their intestines that are similar to these. Despite the fact that they are necessary for digestion, they are also markers of the presence of pathogens. Infected individuals who use the wastewater treatment system are more likely to be infected with pathogens such as Giardia, Cryptosporidia, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio cholerae, and others. Since you are unlikely to ever know the health status of persons who are utilizing a given system, you should always presume that health hazards exist. Pathogens can be found in wastewater and on anything that comes into touch with it. They can also be found in the environment. This implies that they will be discovered in the septic tank, distribution pipelines, and effluent treatment components such as a drainfield, mound, recirculating sand filter, and other similar devices and structures. The majority of the populations are found in the septic tank, and when wastewater passes through the system, the population decreases as a result of treatment. Infections caused by exposure to wastewater include a variety of ailments such as:

Pathogens may enter the body through four basic methods, which are described here. These are some examples:

  1. Ingestion via the mouth is caused by direct contact with the mouth when eating, drinking, and smoking as well as cleaning your face with infected hands or gloves. The most common route of infection is by ingestion. Skin – Contact with the skin caused by wastewater splashes. The presence of cuts, scrapes, and wounds increases the likelihood of infection. Disease-causing pathogens can enter your body through your eyes. Airborne germs delivered by dust, mist, or fumes enter the lungs and cause infection. Aerosols, including viruses (polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, rotaviruses, adenoviruses, Norwalk virus), bacteria, and other microorganisms have been shown to impair the immune system and have the potential to cause allergies in susceptible individuals (Leptospira, Salmonella spp., Shigella spp.,Campylobacter jejuni, Yersinia enterocolitica, Legionella pneumophila, Helicobacter pylori, Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium xenopi). Another potential danger identified by the study was the presence of microbial allergens and endotoxins. According to the findings of the study, endotoxins, which are created by bacteria, can induce respiratory and intestinal inflammation, diarrhea, weariness, and nasal irritation among sewer workers.

There are several places that are polluted with microorganisms that are associated with septic systems. Inhalation of contaminated air in the proximity of wastewater might cause respiratory exposure. Dermal exposure is caused by objects such as tools, automobile door handles, radio knobs, and gear shifters. Oral pathogen intake can occur as a result of eating lunch on the job site, smoking cigarettes, chewing gum, and other activities.

How to protect yourself and your employees

Pathogens cannot be eradicated from wastewater since they are naturally occurring in the environment. When you practice proper personal hygiene and use personal protection equipment while on the job, your chances of catching an illness are reduced. The following are some recommended practices and other considerations to bear in mind:

  • Make sure you understand the dangers these microorganisms represent to your health, as well as the methods in which you might become infected. Keep a first-aid kit on hand at all times. All exposed wounds should be cleaned and disinfected before being covered with a sterile, waterproof dressing. Any injuries sustained on the job site should be reported to your supervisor as soon as possible. On the workplace, use waterless hand cleansers, antibacterial soaps, and antibacterial hand wipes to keep your hands healthy. It is not permissible to eat or drink at a wastewater treatment facility. Touching your nose, mouth, eyes, or ears with your hands is not recommended unless your hands have recently been cleaned. Hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and hot water before eating or smoking, as well as at regular intervals during the day and at the conclusion of your job. Assume that anything that comes into contact with wastewater is polluted. It is recommended that you wear a respirator if you are likely to be exposed to airborne infections, such as spray from a treatment device or a humid environment. It is suggested by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that you use a N95 respirator. It is always crucial to ensure that your respirator is properly fitted. Check to see that the seal between the face and the mask is as tight as possible. The intake of tainted air would ensue if there was a leak. The growth of facial hair is avoided because it can interfere with the appropriate fit of a respirator. To ensure that respirators are correctly fitted, worn, and used, it is strongly recommended that a respiratory protection program be implemented.

Norweco provided the image used here.

  • Norway-based Norweco provided the image.

a little about the author: Sara Heger, Ph.D., is an engineer, researcher, and lecturer in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program at the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental science. She has given presentations at several local and national training events on topics such as the design, installation, and administration of septic systems, as well as research in the related field. Her responsibilities include serving as the education chair for the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, as well as serving on the National Science Foundation’s International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Send an email to [email protected] if you have any concerns concerning septic system care and operation. Heger will respond as soon as possible.

Are Septic System Professionals at a Greater Risk for COVID-19?

It is common for on-site sewage system service providers and installers to be exposed to untreated wastewater that contains pathogens, which are primarily bacteria and viruses. These workers clean out septic, holding, and pump tanks, as well as aerobic treatment units, and perform operation and maintenance and repairs on these systems. During the course of a septic system professional’s work on a system, it is rare that they will be aware of the presence of certain disease-causing organisms in the wastewater, such as COVID-19.

  1. There has been evidence of the virus that causes COVID-19 being present in the feces of people who have been diagnosed with the disease.
  2. A study conducted by the Washington On-Site Sewage Association found that workers were exposed to pathogens in aerosolized form when sewage was pumped through standard methods of pumping.
  3. Also unclear is the possibility of COVID-19 transmission through the feces of a person who has been infected.
  4. To far, there have been no reports of COVID-19 being transmitted by feces to the mouth.
  5. It has been established that sewage aerosols were a source of transmission during the SARS pandemic in 2003.
See also:  Gurgling In Pipes When Flushing Toilet Septic Tank? (Best solution)

Here is what we know to date:

“There is no proof to date that the COVID-19 virus has been spread through sewage systems, whether or not they are equipped with wastewater treatment,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Septic systems and wastewater treatment facilities are designed to handle viruses and other diseases. Viruses such as COVID-19 are particularly vulnerable to disinfection because of their genetic makeup. The efficacy of standard treatment and disinfection operations at wastewater treatment facilities is expected to be satisfactory.



On-site sewage system professionals should consider the following routine disease prevention practices for onsite sewage system tank cleaning, operation and maintenance, and repairs, in consultation with local health officials, in order to help protect service providers from the potential infection of COVID-19.

These practices should be implemented in conjunction with local health officials.

How to protect yourself, your workers and your families

The required personal protective equipment (as well as instruction on how to use it) and hand-washing facilities/waterless sanitizers should be made available to those who work in the septic system. Workers should avoid touching their faces, mouths, eyes, noses, and open sores and wounds, as well as chewing gum or smoking when handling sewage. They should also avoid touching their clothes while handling sewage. Workers should promptly wash their hands with soap and water or use waterless hand sanitizers after removing personal protective equipment.

Protect your eyes and respiratory system.

Do keep in mind that waterless hand sanitizers do not work as well on hands that are unclean with grime and grit; as a result, it is recommended that you wash your hands with soap and water before to eating or drinking anything.

  • Goggles to protect the eyes from splashes of human waste or sewage
  • Protective face mask or splashproof face shield to protect the nose and mouth from splashes/aerosolization of human waste or sewage
  • Protective gloves to protect the hands from splashes of human waste or sewage. For example, depending on the sort of job, N95 masks may be required, as well as verification of “face fit” testing for the employee, which may include a restriction on the amount of facial hair allowed. Coveralls made of liquid-repellent materials to prevent human waste or sewage off of garments
  • Gloves that are water resistant to prevent exposure to human waste or sewage
  • Rubber boots to protect against contact with human waste or sewage

Please keep in mind that septic system experts who fall into high-risk groups owing to their age, health difficulties, or having family members who are at risk should exercise extra caution when working in or near raw sewage. As a result, it is recommended that you remove your work clothes before going home. Visit the following website for further information: www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/standards.html. www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/eyeandface/employer/requirements.html Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Coronavirus with Drinking Water and Wastewater Septic System a little about the author Sara Heger, Ph.D., is an engineer, researcher, and lecturer in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program at the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center.

She has presented at several local and national training events on topics such as the design, installation, and administration of septic systems, as well as research in the related field.

Send an email to [email protected] if you have any concerns concerning septic system care and operation.

Household Products That Will Ruin Your Septic Tank!

Many people who have septic tanks are unaware of what they may and cannot flush down their toilets or down their sinks. It may come as a surprise to find just how delicate septic tanks are, and how many common household goods can cause harm to and/or block your septic tank if you don’t know what you’re doing. By keeping these things out from your drains, you can maintain your septic tank in good shape and avoid costly septic repairs down the road. Chemical Cleaners are a type of cleaning agent that uses chemicals to remove dirt and grime.

  1. You may disturb the bacteria cycle in your septic tank by pouring anti-bacterial cleansers like bleach down your drains and down your toilets.
  2. Additives Several septic tank additives make the promise that they will enhance the amount of bacteria in your septic system.
  3. The Environmental Protection Agency and the American Ground Water Trust, on the other hand, warn that chemical additions may cause more harm than good to your tank.
  4. Using Bath Oils Oil floats to the top of your septic tank, where it congeals and hardens to produce a layer of scum on the surface.
  5. It has the ability to withstand bacterial activity and embed in the solid waste layer.
  6. Grease from the kitchen Grease of any kind contributes to the buildup of scum in your septic tank.
  7. Unless otherwise instructed, you should avoid dumping oil down your sinks.

In addition, dryer papers might jam the entrance baffle.

Over time, the clay will clog your pipes and cause your septic tank to fail completely.

Products Made of Latex The majority of latex-based products are not biodegradable.

If the outlet tee is missing, the latex may clog the drain field on its way out of your septic tank, causing it to back up and choke the tank.

Paints and oils are two types of media.

In order to maintain your soil and groundwater free of diseases, you must have this bacterium on hand.

Prescription medications and chemotherapy medications Even after passing through a patient’s digestive system, powerful medications may still retain active ingredients that are harmful to them.

If possible, avoid allowing drug-contaminated faeces to enter your home’s septic tank.

Some prescription medications have the potential to be harmful to the environment.

Chemicals for Automatic Toilet Cleaning Systems Automatic toilet cleaners release an excessive amount of anti-bacterial chemicals into your septic tank, causing it to overflow.

Instead, choose toilet cleansers that are suitable for septic systems.

Even minute amounts of string, on the other hand, can clog and ruin pump impellers.

In a period of time, it will encircle a pump and cause harm to your septic tank’s mechanical components.

Your tank is only capable of holding a specific amount of domestic water; it cannot accommodate big volumes of water from a pool or roof drain.

Don’t use your sinks or toilets as garbage cans; this is against the law.

Put your trash in the garbage to prevent having to pay extra in pump-out fees.

Young children, on the other hand, may be unable to comprehend how toilets function.

Rather than degrading, the clothing are likely to block your septic tank.

Butts for Cigarettes Cigarette filters have the potential to choke the tank.

For a comprehensive list of potentially dangerous goods, consult your septic tank owner’s handbook or consult with a specialist.

If possible, avoid flushing non-biodegradable goods down the toilet or down the drain. You will save money on costly repairs and you will extend the life of your tank by taking these precautions.

On-Site Sewage Systems

Return to the Environmental Health section.

On-Site Sewage System Program

This section contains the following information:

  • Obtaining a Sewage System
  • Sewage System Fundamentals
  • Submitting a Request for Investigation
  • Additional Information

In order to help inhabitants in the district avoid exposure to untreated sewage and to decrease pollution of groundwater and surface water resources, BEDHD has implemented an On-Site Sewage (Septic System) Program.

Getting a Sewage System

Before a resident may establish a sewage system, the BEDHD must analyze the location and grant a permit, as well as conduct a final inspection once the system has been completed and is functioning properly.

Site Evaluation

It is the first step in determining whether an existing or proposed land parcel that does not have access to municipal wastewater services (city sewer) can be considered for the installation of an on-site sewage system. A site evaluation (previously known as a “perk test”) is the first step in determining whether or not an existing or proposed land parcel that does not have access to municipal wastewater services (city sewer) can be considered for the installation of an on-site sewage system.

The following are some of the specific issues that will be reviewed during the evaluation:

  • The soil type and permeability
  • The depth to the seasonal high water table
  • And other factors. Slope
  • Landscape position
  • Horizontal separation distance from wells, surface water bodies, county drains, and other sources of contamination
  • And other factors. The amount of appropriate land that is available
  • Hydrogeology of a certain area
  • Patterns of runoff
  • Proximity to a publicly accessible sewage system
  • Land use that has been proposed
  • The volume of estimated wastewater flow
  • The size of the property (a one-acre land division vs a one-acre piece)
  • Easements, rights-of-way, and construction setbacks are all examples of easements and rights-of-way. Site upgrades such as subsurface utilities and other site enhancements
  • The difference between a new development site and a repair site

To acquire an application for a site review, please see the “Forms” section of this website.


Providing the findings of the site study indicate that the parcel is suitable for development, the next stage in the procedure will be to submit an application for a sewage system permit. Following submission of the application and payment of the applicable price, the construction of the system can be authorized by one of our sanitarians, who will oversee its installation. To request a sewage system permit, go to the “Forms” section of the website.

Final Inspection

Upon receiving notification from the installer that the installation of the sewage system is complete, the BEDHD conducts final checks on newly installed systems. A sanitarian will visit the site and verify the system to ensure that it has been installed in accordance with the specifications specified in the permit, which will take several days. After the sanitarian has given his or her final clearance to the system, an authorized tag is issued, and the system can then be protected.

Mounds and Alternative Systems

Not all parcels of land satisfy the very basic requirements for a traditional system of irrigation. In these instances, parcels may be candidates for alternative-type sewage systems to be installed on their land. The BEDHD now recognizes the following sorts of alternative systems (although new system types may be accepted in the future):

  • Low-pressure dosage mounds, sand filter systems, and lagoons are also options.

When it comes to using an alternate sewage system on a property, each kind has specific minimum requirements that must be met. Water treatment methods like as low-pressure dosage mounds over progressively permeable soils, lagoons, and alternative (pretreatment) systems are only permitted to be implemented by personnel who have been qualified by the Bureau of Environmental and Water Development.

Click here to see a list of Alternative Wastewater Treatment System Installers who have been certified by the EPA. (There is no requirement for a qualified installer for conventional wastewater treatment systems.)


Check out the “All About Mounds” fact page to learn more about low-pressure dosage mounds, including some common misunderstandings about them. Additionally, please see this mound information packet, which contains information from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) about the use of mounds in the Barry-Eaton district, along with more general mound information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other sources. If you have any issues about the usage of an alternative-type sewage system, you should speak with Environmental Health about your concerns.

Sewage System Basics

septic systems (on-site sewage treatment systems) are underground wastewater treatment facilities that are often utilized in rural regions to treat wastewater. They clean home wastewater by combining natural processes with technological advances. It is critical to treat home wastewater because untreated sewage includes disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that may spread to humans. Once wastewater has been appropriately treated by a sewage system, it is permissible to introduce it into groundwater and surface water sources.

  1. Septic tanks are used to treat sewage (usually a drainbed or drainfield).
  2. Its secondary role is to decompose organic materials in a gradual and steady manner.
  3. The soil-absorption component transports the liquid sewage to the soil.
  4. The operation of a typical sewage system is as follows:
  1. Septic tanks are underground, waterproof containers that are generally built of concrete that collect all of the water that drains out of the house through a single main drainage line. The septic tank is designed to store wastewater for an extended period of time, allowing solids to sink to the bottom and oil to float to the top. It is prevented from leaving the tank and moving into the soil absorption region by the use of an outlet mechanism (baffle). The liquid wastewater exits the tank and is discharged onto the drain field. Every time water exits the house, water is also expelled from the septic tank as well. In the case of a toilet that contains 1.6 gallons of water, flushing the toilet results in 1.6 gallons of liquid effluent from the septic tank being discharged into the drainfield
  2. The drainfield, also known as the soil absorption area, is a shallow, subterranean region that is often created consisting of pipes and stone to collect water. Flowing wastewater flows through the pipelines and onto porous surfaces, where it can gently filter into the soil. When it reaches this point, wastewater trickles down into the oxygen-rich soil, where it is naturally reduced by dangerous coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients.
See also:  How To Calculate Septic Tank Absorption Area? (Solution)

Operation and Maintenance

Septic tanks are subterranean, waterproof containers that are generally built of concrete that collect all of the water that drains from the house. Solids settle to the bottom of the septic tank and grease floats to the top of the tank since the septic tank is designed to store wastewater for an extended period of time. It is prevented from leaving the tank and moving into the soil absorption region by use of an outflow mechanism (baffle). Drainage of liquid effluent from the tank into the drainfield is accomplished via a pipe.

In the case of a toilet that contains 1.6 gallons of water, flushing the toilet results in 1.6 gallons of liquid wastewater in the septic tank being discharged into the drainfield; It is a shallow, underground region that is generally built up of pipes and stone and is known as a drainfield or soil absorption area.

When it reaches the soil, it trickles down into the oxygen-rich soil, where it is naturally reduced by dangerous coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients.

  • Understand where your sewage system is located. Keep a drawing of the system’s location and dimensions with your maintenance records in case a service technician needs to see it.
  • If you are unable to locate a system, it is possible that you do not have one and will need to obtain a permission to have one installed. A sewage system is defined as a pipe or system that connects your sewage to an outfall such as a county drain, lake, stream/river, or field drainage tile.
  • Other sources of water, such as roof drains, footing drains, water softener output, and sump pump discharge, should be diverted away from the sanitary sewer system. Maintain a tiny mound of soil over your sewage system to aid in the drainage of surface water, and give a grass cover over the top of the system
  • And Avoid using the drainfield for anything that isn’t necessary, such as vehicles, heavy equipment, machinery, and animals. Water conservation should be practiced: fix dripping faucets and leaking toilets, run washing machines and dishwashers only when they are completely full, avoid taking long showers, and install water-saving devices in faucets, shower heads, and toilets Do not do all of your laundry on one day
  • Instead, spread it out over the course of the week to reduce your water consumption. Use bleach, disinfectants, drain and toilet bowl cleaners sparingly and in line with the directions on the product labels. Take any remaining hazardous home chemicals to a hazardous waste collection location that has been certified for disposal. Whenever possible, avoid using your trash disposal in the kitchen sink—or don’t use it at all. Never flush coffee grounds, oil, grease, or food down the toilet
  • Instead, put them in the trash or compost bin. FEMALE HYGIENE PRODUCTS (even “flushable” wipes), floss, paper towels, diapers, or any other non-biodegradable goods should not be flushed. Regularly examine and pump your system (usually every 2 to 3 years) with the help of a qualified technician. Maintain an accurate record of all licenses granted, inspections performed, pumps performed, repairs made, and other maintenance actions
  • Whenever you are experiencing system troubles or if there are symptoms of system breakdown, contact the BEDHD for assistance.

You may get additional information about extending the life of your sewage system by visiting one of the following websites:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s Homeowners Guide to Septic Systems (short version)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s Homeowners Guide to Septic Systems (full version)
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Septic Systems
  • Being SepticSmart
  • Fact sheets about septic tank and well water maintenance

System Failure

If a sewage system has failed or is not functioning correctly, it is possible that wastewater going through the system will not be thoroughly treated before it is released. Groundwater and surface water can be contaminated, which poses a threat to public health as the result of the contamination. Sewage systems can fail for a variety of causes, including:

  • Because they are old and have outlived their usefulness (the average useful life of a well managed sewage system is around 30 years), they must be replaced. They are not kept up to date adequately
  • They are not properly designed (systems created without permits and/or without any assistance from the BEDHD may not be properly designed or constructed)
  • They are not properly constructed. Because of the excess water in the drainfield, it is not functional. There is structural damage to the septic tank, or the drainfield has been squashed by a large object. Roots from trees or bushes that clog the drainfield pipes are examples of what we are talking about.

In other cases, deteriorating sewage systems are not immediately apparent; a system might be failing or on the verge of failing even though there are no visible indicators of trouble in a residence. In many cases, the only method to determine if a sewage system has failed or is on the verge of failing is to have it thoroughly inspected. However, the following symptoms may indicate a problem with the system (although some of them may also be caused by plumbing issues):

  • Drainage and toilet problems (e.g., sluggish draining, sewage backing up)
  • Unusual yard condition (for example, damp spots or very green grass near your sewage system)
  • Unusual yard condition Weeds or algae development in bodies of surface water surrounding your home that is out of the ordinary
  • Unpleasant odors emanating from your house and property

If you suspect that your sewage system has failed or is experiencing difficulties, you should contact BEDHD immediately. BEDHD will assist you in determining the best course of action. If wastewater is leaking into your yard, make sure the area is completely fenced off to ensure that no one, including pets, comes into contact with it. Learn how to clean up sewage that has backed up into your home by reading this guide!

Sewage Systems and the Environment

Inadequately functioning sewage systems or systems that are lacking critical components can cause untreated sewage to seep into groundwater, ponds, streams, rivers, and other bodies of water. This untreated sewage can contain bacteria (including E. coli), parasites, and viruses that can cause illness in humans and animals, as well as in the environment. When untreated sewage seeps into the ground or into surrounding bodies of water, it can have a negative influence on the health of many people, including those who do not reside on the property with a failing sewage system.

See this map for a visual representation of E.

Request for Investigation

The examination of complaints is a component of the On-Site Sewage System Program. In the event of a failing on-site sewage system, water supply problem, or other possible health danger, residents of the district can submit a written request to the BEDHD for review and action. Once BEDHD receives the request for an investigation, a sanitarian will evaluate the complaint and, if necessary, will order that repairs be made to bring the situation back into compliance. To obtain a complaint form, go to the “Forms” section of the website.

More Information

  • The On-Site Sewage System Program includes a component called complaint inquiry. In the event of a failing on-site sewage system, water supply problem, or other possible health danger, residents of the district can submit a written request to the BEDHD. Upon receipt of the request for inquiry by BEDHD, a sanitarian will examine the complaint and, if justified, will order that corrective action be taken to fix the problem. Visit the “Forms” section of the website to obtain a complaint form.

Department of Environmental Quality : About Septic Systems : Residential Resources : State of Oregon

In areas where houses and businesses are not linked to a municipal sewage system, a septic system is the most popular type of sewage treatment for those areas. When simplified to its most basic form, a septic system is comprised of two parts: a septic tank in which solids settle and decay and a drainfield in which liquid drained from the tank is treated by bacteria in the soil. Septic systems that are more sophisticated are constructed in places with high groundwater levels and/or poor soils.

Septic systems that are properly operating treat sewage in order to reduce groundwater and surface water contamination.

Failure to maintain your system poses a health risk to your family and your neighbors, as well as a threat to natural resources. Learn more about how septic systems function by reading this article.

Before you buy

If the land is undeveloped, inquire as to whether the property has been examined for appropriateness for septic systems by either the Department of Environmental Quality or a local government contract agent, and if so, request a copy of the site evaluation report. The following are the questions you should ask:Has the site changed since it was last evaluated?

  • Well construction, fill, roads, and other modifications can all have an impact on appropriateness. Is the land suitable for your development needs, taking into account the kind of system stated as acceptable on the report and the placement of the septic system that has been approved?

If the property has not yet been examined, you may choose to request that the present owner arrange for an evaluation to be done. Application for a site review can be made through either the Department of Environmental Quality or a local government contract agent. Before deciding to acquire the land, you must determine what sort of septic system will be necessary, as well as whether or not the permitted system site will fit your development requirements. Existing sewage treatment systems- If you are considering acquiring a home with an existing septic system, you should engage a trained inspector to assess the system before making the purchase.

  • Is it true that the system was implemented without a permit? If not, it is possible that the system is very old (permits have been necessary since 1972, and in certain counties even earlier), or that it was unlawfully built. Systems that have been illegally developed may pose a threat to public health or produce pollution. In the future, you may be forced to upgrade or replace the system, and you may be held accountable and penalized if the system malfunctions or poses a concern to public health and safety. If your family or business has a large number of members, is the system the correct size to meet their needs? Permit documents often include information on the system’s capacity in gallons per day. Typical household water use is 450 gallons per day for a four-bedroom home. How old is the system, and has it been adequately maintained over its lifetime? Is there documentation demonstrating that the septic tank was pumped on a regular basis? Have there been any difficulties or complaints that have been brought to your attention in the past? It is possible that your local permitting agency has records of complaints or infractions that have not been addressed yet. Before you moved here, how many people lived in the house? Perhaps the approach works well with a single person but not so well with four individuals. Is the septic tank connected to all of the plumbing fittings
  • And Is there evidence of a septic system failure, such as puddles over the septic tank or flooded drainfields? If the property is next to surface waterways, check to see that there are no direct discharges from the property. When it comes to septic system replacement, is there a suitable location if the existing system fails? In the event that there are any septic permit documents, they will show the replacement area that should still be “laid aside” for this purpose. What is the role of a qualified inspector? Some septic installers and pumpers have received training in the inspection of existing systems, while others specialize in the installation of new septic systems or pump tanks, as appropriate. Certified maintenance providers may also have the qualifications of a qualified inspector. The goal is to find out what their credentials are in septic system assessments (as opposed to only septic tank evaluations), as well as to obtain some recommendations. Verify the credentials of the references before hiring a contractor.

Signs of septic system failure

  • Pools of water or wet places, unpleasant aromas, and/or dark gray or black soils in the vicinity of your drainfield are all signs that something is wrong. Water from the sewer overflows into the lowest drains in the home. The sound of drains gurgling and poor draining (first check for obstructions)
  • Soapy flows onto the ground surface, into ditches, or into surface waterways The earth is too soft to mow over the drainfield
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Installing a new system

In order to have a new septic system installed, a two-step procedure must be followed. 1. Submit an application for a site review. The tests pits you give on your property will be evaluated by a DEQ or county agent, who will decide the size and kind of septic system that will be required, as well as the placement. 2. Submit an application for a building permit. For application forms, contact your local DEQ office or county agent, or you can obtain DEQ application forms from this website. There is a cost for both the site appraisal and the issuance of the building permit.

Maintaining septic systems

By having your septic tank tested for solids accumulation on a regular basis, you may prevent having to pay for expensive repairs. When the solids buildup in your septic tank exceeds 40%, you should have it pumped by a pumper who is licensed by the DEQ. For advice on how often to get your septic tank examined, contact the Department of Environmental Quality. Maintaining the condition of your septic tank on a regular basis (every 5 to 7 years) and checking for solids accumulation will save you money on costly repairs.

If you follow the basic septic system DO’s and DON’Ts, a properly designed and maintained system may survive for a very long period.

Septic Systems

In contrast to the county’s sanitary sewer system, septic systems are privately owned. The most significant distinction is that septic systems treat wastewater on-site, whereas the sanitary sewer system transfers wastewater to a treatment facility. Four water reclamation facilities are located within the boundaries of Cobb County. Make sure you check your water bill to ensure you are not being paid for sewer. If you are, you are not on a septic system. There is a good chance that you have an onsite sewage treatment system or septic tank because there is no sewer cost on your water account.

Familiarizing yourself with preventative steps will considerably decrease the inconvenience and price of system maintenance or replacement, as well as lessen or eliminate health hazards and negative environmental consequences.

Every septic system owner should be aware of the location of their tank, understand how to manage a septic system, and be able to spot the indicators of a failing system.

Every 3-5 years, you should have your system inspected and the tank pumped by a trained inspector. It is far more cost-effective to invest in ongoing system maintenance than than dealing with a system breakdown when it occurs.

Septic systems have three components:

  1. Septic tanks – are used to collect and dispose of big solids, which prevents obstructions in the absorption field. The absorption field is responsible for dispersing wastewater into the soil. In addition, the soil filters and cleans wastewater as it transports it from the absorption field to the ground or surface water

Maintenance Requirements:

  • You should pump your septic tank every 3-5 years to ensure that all liquids and solids are removed

Symptoms of Failure:

  • Wastewater on the surface of the soil (sewage odor, moist soil) Back-up of wastewater into the house
  • Bacterial levels that are elevated downstream


  • Make use of low-flow plumbing fittings. Check the water pressure – it should be between 80 and 100 psi. Water leaks should be repaired. Manage the amount of water you use on-site
  • Household garbage (medicines, cleansers, and other items) should not be disposed of in the toilet or sink. Do not dispose of waste through the garbage disposal. Use of drain cleaners, bleach, and other harsh chemicals in toilets and sinks should be limited to a minimum. Downspouts and other runoff should be directed away from the absorption field.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems

We will continue to encourage the use of electronic applications that must be submitted electronically. Regarding payments for electronic applications, you will be contacted by a member of our administrative staff. Paper applications and fees can also be submitted and dropped off in our EH Drop Box, which is situated outside of the Environmental Health Office, or handed in during our regular business hours at the Environmental Health Office. There are several methods of payment that are accepted, including credit cards, checks, and money orders.

Final Inspections may be viewed here.

Recent OWTS Industry Updates may be found here.

Permit Information is Available Online!

We are responsible for inspecting and regulating on-site wastewater treatment facilities (OWTS). We safeguard public health and the environment by ensuring that OWTS are properly placed, designed, installed, and maintained. This helps to reduce human exposure to sewage and contamination of our groundwater. We are primarily concerned with the regulation of wastewater treatment systems connected with both commercial and residential entities that are not serviced by a municipal wastewater collection and treatment facility.

Septic Permits for El Paso County may be viewed on the county’s website.

This makes it possible to obtain OWTS permit and as-built information at any time of day or night, seven days a week.

if you are unable to locate the OWTS system record online, please contact us through email at for help.


Permit Application Forms

  • The application for an On-Site Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Permit is available here. On-site Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Design Worksheet -Short Form for Conventional (Non-Engineered) On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • On-site Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Design Worksheet – Comprehensive
  • Conventional (non-engineered) On-site Wastewater Treatment System
  • Abandonment of the present system of governance
  • Permission modifications, such as design amendments, property re-enumeration, and change of permit type are permitted. Requests for field changes that do not have an impact on system sizing

Additional OWTS Forms

  • Professional License or Certification Application – Application for a Professional License or Certification Fill out an application for a new Pumper/Cleaner Inspection – Application

Industry Professional Resources


  • Professional License or Certification Application – Application for a Professional License or Certification Fill out an application for a new Pumper/Cleaner Inspection – Application
  • Site-based Wastewater Systems Regulations, approved distribution products, approved higher-level treatment systems, approved onsite wastewater treatment tanks, CPOW Part A professionals, and Mound System GuidanceDocument are all covered in Chapter 8.
  • Wastewater Site Application Policy 6
  • NDDS GuidanceDocument

Forms for Operation and Maintenance Inspections

  • Homeowner Survey – Form OM-1
  • Site Assessment – Form OM-2
  • Tank Assessment – Form OM-3
  • Additional Component Assessment – Form OM-4
  • STA Assessment – Form OM-5
  • Additional Component Assessment (Form OM-4)

Training and Certification Courses are available.

  • The National Association of Wastewater Technicians (NAWT)
  • The Colorado Professionals in On-site Wastewater (CPOW)
  • And the National Association of Wastewater Technicians (NAWT).

A technical advisory group, the On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems Technical Advisory Group meets quarterly to examine on-site wastewater policy, current science, technology, and developments in the field of on-site wastewater treatment systems. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held in the Public Health offices, which are situated in the Citizens Service Center at 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road. Kat McGarvy, Program Manager, may be reached at (719) 578-3112 or via email at [email protected] for further information.

  • You may also access meeting minutes from prior TAG sessions, as well as industry news and updates, on the internet.

Property Sale and Maintenance

Purchase of Real Estate A property owner of a dwelling or other building/facility serviced by an OWTS must have the system inspected prior to selling the property in order to establish that the system is operating as intended.

Each unique OWTS on a single property is needed to have its own inspection and Acceptance Document Application, which must be submitted separately.

Maintenance and upkeep are two important aspects of operation. (O M) (O M) (O M) The criteria for allowing for the reduction of soil treatment areas, vertical separation distances to limiting layers, or reductions in horizontal separation distances by employing higher level treatment systems are based on the assumption that these systems are functioning as intended by the manufacturer. Failing to meet these requirements will almost certainly result in failure or malfunction, which might result in harm to human health and water quality.

It is necessary that systems that use pressure distribution or an in-tank treatment unit establish a maintenance contract with an OM Certified Inspector who is listed on the OM website.

Well & Septic Permits

You should bear in mind that, during the COVID-19, extra limits will be implemented during inspections and entrance into facilities in order to ensure the safety of both personnel and clients. Please check to see that no one in the building is sick, has tested positive for COIVD-19, or is exhibiting signs of the virus before proceeding. Fever, chills, recurrent shaking with chills, muscular pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, coughing, or trouble breathing are some of the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

During the inspection, it is also necessary to ensure the following requirements are met:

  • Throughout the site tour, social separation must be maintained as much as possible. Reduce the number of persons who will be on site to a bare minimum
  • If at all feasible, building occupants should put on a face mask. All entrances and exits to inspection areas must be conveniently accessible, and the door must be open at all times. This is done in order to limit the number of “touchpoints” during the examination.

If these standards are not met, the sanitarian will not proceed with the service and will leave the premises in order to safeguard both the client’s and the employee’s well-being.

Important Information

  • MISS Dig must label any subsurface utilities before to the site visit for all services performed on the property. Persons engaged in groundbreaking activities on the site are needed to submit a ticket to MISS Dig in order for the property to be marked appropriately. The presence of unmarked properties will result in service delays or postponements. Missing an appointment may result in a $75 fee
  • Failure to show up may result in a $50 fee. If any field activities are initiated before the application fees are received, they are nonrefundable. All applications that are cancelled prior to the start of field work are subject to a $50 processing charge. Unless otherwise specified, permits and site evaluations are valid for two years and are non-transferable.

Septic Services

Program to establish if a land is suitable for a specific style of development as well as for on-site wells and septic systems, among other things.

On-site Sewage Disposal

Installation of on-site sewage disposal (septic) systems necessitates the acquisition of a permit. If the application is for new development, it must contain a thorough site plan as well as floor layouts.

  • Alternative Wastewater Application
  • SepticSmart
  • Septic System Landscape Design
  • Residential WellSeptic Permit Application
  • Non-residential WellSeptic Permit Application
  • Septic System Landscaping

Real Estate Evaluation

In many cases, prior to selling an existing building, it is necessary to inspect and evaluate the well and septic system, whether private or commercial.

  • Homebuyer’s Guide to Septic Systems
  • Real Estate Evaluation Application
  • Sanitary Facility Evaluation Guidelines
  • EPA – Real Estate Evaluation Application

Addition/Change of Use

Review of planned construction/change of use projects to determine whether or not they would have an impact on existing water wells and onsite wastewater disposal systems.

  • The request for an Environmental Health Addition/Change of Use Review has been submitted.

Subdivisions, Site Condominiums and Land Division Evaluation

a study of a planned subdivision of property that would be supplied by onsite wastewater treatment facilities and/or individual water supply wells According to the Michigan Land Division Act (Public Act 288 of 1967), all land divisions of less than one acre, subdivisions, and site condos must be approved by the local health department before proceeding.

Sewage Regulations

  • Guidelines for Site Modification in Kent County, Michigan
  • Sewage Disposal Rules for Kent County, Michigan Subsurface Sewage Disposal Criteria
  • Subdivision Regulations

System Specifications

  • Guidelines for Site Modification in Kent County, Michigan
  • Sewage Disposal Regulations for Kent County, MI Undersea sewage disposal requirements
  • Subdivision regulations

Well Services

Installation of on-site water supply (well) systems necessitates the acquisition of a permit.

  • Application for a residential well-septic system
  • Well Maintenance for Drinking Water

Well RegulationsGuidelines

  • Michigan Abandoned Water Well Plugging Manual
  • Water Well Disinfection Manual
  • Kent County Water Supply Regulations
  • Well Construction Code Administrative Rules (Part 127 of Act 368)
  • Minimum Isolation Distance Chart
  • Michigan Abandoned Water Well Plugging Manual
  • Well Disinfection Manual Guide to Well Water
  • Nitrate and Nitrite in Drinking Water
  • And Arsenic in Well Water

Type II Wells Public Supply PermitForms

A Type II non-community public water supply serves 25 or more persons at least 60 days per year or has 15 or more service connections if it is not part of a community water system.

Type II Well Permit
  • Well Permit Application for Type II Well
  • Type II Well Permit Instructions
  • Existing and Proposed Fixture Count Sheet
  • Type II Well Permit Fee Schedule
Operational Forms
  • Worksheet for determining the action level for lead and copper
  • Lead and Copper Sample Report Form
  • And Start-up Instructions. Obtaining Certification for a Seasonal Noncommunity Public Water Supply Application for TypeII Water Supply at the Level 2 Assessment Level
Regulations and Guidelines
  • Safe Drinking Water Act 399 – Providing Water to the Public
  • Seasonal Public Groundwater Supply Handbook
  • Well Construction Code Administrative Rules (Part 127 of Act 368)
  • Well Construction Code Administrative Rules
Information about Contamination in Kent County

When reviewing or issuing a permit for a site, the presence of pollution in the soils or groundwater around or on the property may be taken into consideration by the public health decision-making process. Please see the links below for further information about properties and their proximity to possible sources of pollution. External links are owned and maintained by the Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (DEGLEE).

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