Septic System

What Monroe County Residents Should Know about their Septic System

An individual on-site wastewater disposal system is not the equivalent of a municipal sanitary sewer. It is the only option for sewage disposal at a property that is not served by municipal sewers. The written approval issued by the Environmental Health Division is not a guarantee that the system will give indefinite trouble-free service.

In many areas of Monroe County, the private wastewater disposal system is relied upon to safely dispose of human and domestic wastes. The homeowner who understands the proper care and use of this system will greatly improve the likelihood that the sewage system will provide many years of trouble-free service and unnecessary expense.

The homeowner who neglects routine maintenance is inviting trouble. When a sewage system fails, the sewage usually pools in the yard or flows back into the home, creating a serious health hazard, as well as increasing the potential for disease transmission. In addition, the pooled sewage may contaminate nearby surface waters and create a neighborhood nuisance due to odor or unsightly appearance.

In most instances, routine maintenance and common sense can greatly improve the performance of the on-site septic system. Listed are maintenance recommendations which will aid in the operation of the sewage system.

  • A licensed septic tank pumper should pump the septic tank every 1 to 2 years. This will help prevent solids from flowing over into the distribution system and clogging the soil. View an online list of Licensed Septage Haulers. Small amounts of drain cleaners will not harm your sewage system but special additives will not increase the life of the system.
  • Conserve water when possible. View "Helpful Hints To Conserve Water (PDF)"
  • Direct all surface drainage, down spouts and sump pump lines away from the wastewater system.
  • Do not plant trees on top of the system.
  • Utilize low flow plumbing fixtures in your home.
  • Immediately repair all leaking fixtures and toilets.
  • Do not drive automobiles or other heavy equipment across the system.
  • To ensure that proper isolation distances can be maintained, contact the Monroe County Health Department prior to construction of any additions or out buildings.
  • Do not connect sump pumps, footing drains or water softeners to the septic tank.
  • Do not add garbage grinders to the system unless it was originally designed for that use.
  • Do not pave over any portion of the system.
  • Call the Health Department if any problems develop or if you have any further questions about your sewage system.