Most homeowners already know that the cost of replacing a septic system can amount to thousands of dollars even before inspections and fees are included in the total. However, one Oregon couple is facing equally steep fines for failing to maintain their home septic system properly and allowing it to overflow onto their Cottage Grove property. David and Laura Pendergrass have been assessed fines of almost $12,000 for failing to dispose of sewage properly. Of that amount, only $800 is for the initial offense; the remaining amount consists of penalties for failing to address the problem or respond to Lane County Public Works regarding the matter. The Pendergrasses have not yet filed an appeal in the case and have made no public comment regarding the matter.
A variety of solutions for septic remediation
Although the size of the fine in this case is unusual, the situation facing the Pendergrass family is increasingly common throughout the U.S. Many local, state and federal environmental protection and public health agencies are cracking down on the owners of failing or malfunctioning septic tank systems. Acting to prevent these catastrophic failures or to remediate septic system problems quickly can help homeowners to avoid intervention by these regulatory agencies and the consequent fines and penalties that may result from leaks and spills. Regular pumping and inspection of the tank and drain field can help prevent most problems. For tanks that regularly overflow or that drain slowly and require frequent pumping and maintenance, however, installing a septic aeration system can increase the processing efficiency of the tank system and reduce the risks of failure and fines from environmental protection agencies.
A proactive way to prevent failures
Septic aeration systems are designed to promote the growth of aerobic bacteria colonies inside the tank. Aerobic bacteria are much more effective at breaking down organic waste and particulate matter than comparable numbers of anaerobic bacteria. As a result, installing a septic aerator can help to purify wastewater more rapidly and to eliminate biomat, an organic substance that can often build up in the bottom of traditional septic tanks. Reducing this biomat buildup can result in improved water flow and improved functionality for the entire system. This added efficiency can often eliminate minor septic tank problems and remediate more serious issues quickly and efficiently.
By taking the example of the Pendergrasses to heart and taking steps now to prevent septic system failures, homeowners can enjoy increased longevity of wastewater treatment systems and added peace of mind regarding the health and environmental safety of their home septic tank systems.