Your Septic System
Maintaining Your Septic System - Special Considerations for Shoreline Property Owners [PDF] (321.9Kb)
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Meyer, A.; Keith, M.; Saumier, J.; Shortlidge, M.
Studying up on septic systems often ranks last in importance with homeowners - until an emergency strikes. This cleverly designed fact sheet set not only describes what to do if your septic system fails, but also contains all the necessary information to understand how a septic system works, how to properly maintain a septic system -- to prevent emergencies, and how to keep maintenance records -- all in a tidy, clearly marked and easy to find, tabbed folder that fits in a filing cabinet or notebook. This resource is inexpensive, informative, practical, and it supports the concept and value of clean water quality standards and human health. A septic system is a critical component of a home, treating liquid waste in order to prevent contamination of drinking water and nearby lakes and streams. The folder itself not only acts as an organizational device to hold vital septic system information, but also doubles as a quick-tip guide, and a maintenance record worksheet. Each of the five fact sheets inside the folder speaks to a unique topic revolving around septic systems. Fact Sheet #1, titled "What to Do if Your Septic System Fails", describes what a failure is, why failures happen, symptoms of a failure, immediate steps to take in case of a failure, long-term options, and prevention tips. Fact Sheet #2, "Maintaining Your Septic System: Special Considerations for Shoreline Property Owners" addresses unique issues associated with homes built near lakes, streams, or ponds, including how to identify signs that contaminants are reaching the water, and how to prevent problems. Fact Sheet #3, "How to Conserve Water in Your Home and Yard" offers 17 water saving tips that help reduce the risk of damaging your septic system, while saving money and protecting your health. Fact Sheet #4, "What You Need to Know When Buying or Selling a House" provides a list and description of minimum evaluation criteria, as well as an easy-to-use worksheet to aid in your home-buying or selling decision. Fact Sheet #5, "Considerations When Building or Remodeling a Home" covers siting your septic system, codes and permits, percolation tests, design and installation, and also includes a handy table for determining minimum septic tank capacities. "Your Septic System" was developed by Cornell Cooperative Extension Project Team members Martha G. Shortlidge, Westchester County; Jo Ellen Saumier, Rockland County; Marjorie L. Nichols Keith, Putnam County; and A. Meyer, Dutchess County; and supported by a grant from the Water Resources Institute at Cornell University, with funds provided from the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. Some portion of the information contained in these facts sheets was adapted from Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service.
Cornell Cooperative Extension