Roughly 1 million Ohio homes use septic tanks and, unlike those homes that use city sewage treatment systems, on-site septic system maintenance and upkeep are the homeowner's responsibility. Ensuring septic systems are properly designed and maintained prevents system failure and reduces the risk that pollution and disease-causing bacteria and viruses will leak into the environment and into groundwater systems.
Eventually septic systems have to be upgraded or even replaced, but there are a number of things that homeowners can do to make their septic system last 20 to 30 years, including water conservation, careful landscaping, and frequent inspection and pumping. In addition to protecting the environment and human health, using less water and monitoring the system for problems before they occur can save homeowners money.
Proper maintenance of a septic system must be conducted regularly, but costs of repairing or replacing a failing septic system are much greater than regular upkeep costs.
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Ohioline - Septic System Maintenance provides further details on these maintenance practices, and the U.S. EPA website provides links to wastewater management guides, technical factsheets, demonstration projects, EPA contacts for state and local management assistance, in addition to other resources.