Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross speak with Ray County Environmental Public Health Specialist Alan Dreves:

Alan Dreves

September 22nd through the 26th has been designated as Septic Smart Week.  Dreves said taking care of your system can help avoid costly repairs in the future.  “The inspection process is basically a suggestion,” said Dreves, “The intent is to really get the homeowner to realize they have a septic system, that it has components that will need some maintenance from time to time, and that, if you start to have problems, there are a few things they can do to head off bigger problems down the road.  We offer the broad advice that the septic tank should be pumped of it’s solids every three to five years or more often if there are unusual usage patterns.”

While the steps may seem like a hassle at the time, they can keep your family healthy.  “The pathogens in septic waste are very, you might say, potent,” said Dreves, “The microorganisms in the soil have a great ability to kill those pathogens.  The soil, if it has proper aeration and structure, will allow those microorganisms to thrive and flourish and do their job.”

There are a few other ways to keep your system running its best.  “First consider conserving water,” said Dreve, “The less water we put through the system, the less water we have to treat.  Also, the things that you flush down your toilet should only be human waste and toilet paper.  Anything else probably should not be flushed down the stool.”

More information and tips on keeping your system up to par can be found at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website.