One Pennsylvania man is finding out the hard way that environmental regulations can create major expenses for homeowners. Wilson Huyett, a 77-year-old resident of rural Salisbury Township, has maintained an outhouse for personal waste management on his 140-acre farm for many years; the farm itself dates back at least two centuries and is located in a relatively isolated area. Township regulations require the replacement of the outhouse with a new septic tank and drainfield arrangement that could cost upwards of $20,000 for necessary equipment and installation fees. Huyett has already spent $750 for required permits and testing fees and intends to fight the township to retain his outhouse and avoid installing a septic system on his farm.
Similar problems across the country
While most people have already upgraded from outhouses to septic systems, homeowners may still face similar expenses due to local and state regulations designed to prevent contaminated runoff into streams, rivers and lakes. Some local authorities may require annual testing to identify failing septic systems. Others have implemented zero-tolerance policies that require full replacement of septic tanks and drainfields that fail to pass spot checks by qualified inspectors. In some cases, proper maintenance and regular pumping of the septic tank can help homeowners to avoid replacement costs and stay on the right side of local and state regulatory authorities. For other homeowners, however, more aggressive measures may be necessary to ensure proper function and avoid required replacements that can cost thousands of dollars to put in place.
Added challenges for homeowners
Maintaining the functionality of household septic systems can present major challenges, especially for older tanks and drainfields. Overflows, backups and other septic system problems can be early warning signs that the entire system is in danger of failure. Broken pipes or clogs within the tank or distribution box are sometimes to blame for these issues; these repairs are relatively inexpensive and should be performed as soon as the problem has been identified. For chronic problems with overflows and inadequate processing of household waste, however, a more permanent solution may be in order.
Aerobic septic systems
A typical septic tank contains billions of bacterial organisms that work to break down organic material. The anaerobic bacteria found in most household septic systems are relatively inefficient in processing waste. In many cases, installing a septic aerator can promote the growth of more efficient aerobic bacteria within the tank, increasing the efficiency and speed of decomposition and reducing the chance that the system will fail an independent inspection by local and state agencies.
Aeration systems like those offered by Aero-Stream offer homeowners a low-cost option to increase the efficiency of their existing septic tanks and drainfields to avoid the added regulatory burden that can arise from failed inspections. This can potentially save thousands of dollars in replacement costs and can offer valuable peace of mind for homeowners throughout the U.S.