Septic field problems may land one unlucky Minnesota man in jail. Jim Kimble recently received a criminal complaint from the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department regarding the property Kimble owns on the north bank of Ballantyne Lake. According to the authorities in Blue Earth County, Kimble is subject to prosecution for improperly installing five septic tanks without a permit or license; the septic tanks were found to be too small and too close to the lake and the nearby cabins, thus violating environmental regulations governing waste management in the county. The small tanks could lead to future septic field problems.

Limited options to resolve septic field problems

Kimble’s problems began when the outhouses that had served his rental properties for many years had to be destroyed due to local environmental regulations. Rather than installing full-scale septic tank systems for these cabins and camping trailer sites, Kimble opted for short-term septic holding tanks to manage waste remediation until the expected expansion of the Lake Washington Sanitary District to his area in the near future. In retrospect, Kimble indicated that he should have left the existing systems in place. “I could have let the old systems keep leaking and paid the fine and it would have been less expensive.” Instead, Kimble spent an estimated $2,500 for all five temporary holding tanks and $2,000 for inspections on the previous systems before they were removed. Kimble now faces an expected $23,000 assessment for new sewer pipes when the expansion takes place; this is in addition to whatever fines and jail time he may be assessed in his upcoming court case.

Lessons for other homeowners

While most property owners will never face criminal charges due to septic field problems, septic field problemsmaintaining a clean and efficient system is essential to prevent regulatory interventions and fine assessments from state and county officials. Taking steps to optimize the performance of the septic field system can reduce the risk of failure or leakage of contaminated fluids into surrounding bodies of water. Frequent pumping can prevent overflows and provide breathing room for homeowners with less efficient systems; however, a more permanent solution can increase the efficiency and the functionality of septic tank decomposition and wastewater remediation.

Aerobic bacterial systems

Anaerobic bacteria are found in nearly all traditional septic tanks and perform much of the decomposition in these sealed and airless environments. However, these bacterial microorganisms are notoriously inefficient in breaking down particulates and solid materials in the septic tank. Aerobic bacteria can break down from 20 to 30 percent more of the contaminants and solid wastes in the septic tank than anaerobic bacteria, making them a far more practical and efficient choice for most homeowners. Installing a septic aerator can provide the right environment for aerobic bacteria and can increase the performance of the septic tank to an exceptional degree.

Avoiding septic field problems

Aerobic septic systems like those available from Aero-Stream can provide added longevity for the average septic tank system. Additionally, these advanced systems can prevent septic filed problems, allowing homeowners to enjoy added peace of mind and improved performance from their existing septic tank and drain field arrangement.