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Septic Maintenance Vital To Protect People And Water

DES MOINES – One out of four Iowans rely on septic systems, making proper care of these on-site wastewater systems a vital part of protecting public health and water quality. 

Back-ups and overflows can occur when homeowners “flush and forget” about their septic systems. Household wastewater carries disease-causing bacteria and viruses, chemicals, and high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. By taking small steps to maintain septic systems, homeowners can protect their property and the environment, save on costly repairs and ensure systems are functioning properly. 

Some daily maintenance tips to consider:
•         Don’t strain your drain: fix leaks and use water efficiently to avoid overtaxing your system. 
•         Think at the sink: Keep grease, fats and harmful chemicals away from your drains.
•         Don’t overload the commode: Don’t flush non-degradable items like dental floss, diapers, coffee grounds and feminine hygiene products.
•         Shield your field: Plant only grass over the drain field. Avoid driving or parking on it and reduce water runoff going to the drain field. 

Paying maintenance fees of $250 to $300 every three or four years for routine pumping is a bargain compared to repairing or replacing a malfunctioning system. Plus, a well-maintained system protects your property values, too.

Find more tips and information about your system at www.epa.gov/septicsmart. Celebrate SepticSmart week, Sept. 21 to 25 by taking one step towards better septic maintenance. 

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