Many landowners within close proximity to Spring
Lake have connected to an available public
sanitary sewer, which transfers waste to a treatment facility.
This is preferable to a septic system, which relies on soil
filtration of the waste waters prior to entering into the ground water.
who have sanitary sewer available and are not connected are encouraged to
hook up. If sanitary sewer is not available, it is the responsibility of
homeowners to keep their septic system in optimum condition.
Here are some recommendations to consider.
Know the location and components of your system. A copy
of the original system diagram, if installed within the last twenty years,
is available upon request by contacting the Environmental Health Division of
your local health department.
Keep drain fields clear. Tree and other deeper root
systems can disrupt and damage drain fields.
Driving on a drain field can cause compaction, reducing
effectiveness. Rainwater from gutters and runoff from paved areas can cause
saturation of septic systems and should be directed away from these
Look for signs of problems even if the system appears to be
functioning properly. Signs
include: sewage odors, slow drains, soggy soil surrounding tank and drain
field, or lush grass or excessive plant growth near drain field.
Other indicators of possible problems are depressions in the surface
of the ground in and around the drain filed, Cladophora (an algae)
growth in the water near your shoreline, and a slow flushing toilet after
Conserve water. The more water that flows through the
septic system, the faster the nutrients are released into the ground.
Be careful of what goes down the drain. Household
chemicals and cleaners like bleach or drain cleaner should be avoided
because they kill bacteria that are needed to break down waste.
The following items should never be put down the drain because they
will not break down in the system: grease, hair, cigarette butts, facial
tissues, paper towel, personal hygiene supplies, bandages, paint, solvents,
motor oil, or any other household hazardous waste.
Beware of the "quick-fix." Products that claim to
clean septic tanks are no substitutes of proper maintenance.
These quick fixes may accelerate the normal decay process from solid
waste to liquid and can send much larger amounts of nutrients into the water
system, which may contaminate the surface and groundwater.
Routine maintenance is required. Properly operating
septic systems require sludge removal every two or three years.
additional information on operation, maintenance or other questions
regarding septic systems, please call the Ottawa County Department of Environmental Health at (616)393-5645, or the Muskegon County Department of Environmental Health at (231)724-6208.
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