University of Illinois Extension

 


John Church
Extension Educator, Natural Resources,
Rockford Extension Center

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New Septic System Publications

As springtime approaches and you spend more time out in the yard, it may be a good time to do some research on your septic field and system. First take time to locate the septic field area. Check for signs of standing water in the yard, check for odors, inventory plants in the field area. The U. of I. recommends that no plantings be done about the septic field or lines.

These and other issues are addressed in a new publication that is designed to help homeowners understand their septic system, how to care for it, and how to troubleshoot problems. The new booklet, "Septic Systems—A Homeowner’s Guide" is available through county U. of I. Extension offices for a nominal fee.

When septic systems do not function properly, humans may come into contact with wastewater that contains disease organisms and other harmful substances. Nearby groundwater and surface water supplies can also be contaminated. Failure of the system can be caused by lack of proper maintenance, blockages or breaks in the lines, overuse of water in the household, or improper design of the septic system.

Possible indicators of a failing system includes a sulfur or rotten egg smell in the vicinity of the system or indoors, water and possibly solids surfacing in the drainfield, or sewage backing up in the house. Well water tests showing high levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria may also be an indicator.

Topics highlighted in the new publications include maintenance, failures, types of systems, additives, and related issues. To receive the new University of Illinois Extension publications, contact your local Extension office.

February - March 2002: Starting From Seed | Can I Prune Now? | Lady Beetles "Housing" in Illinois| New Septic System Publications | Weird Weather

 

Past Issues

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