News Releases > Septic systems: Out of sight, not out of mind - New DVD teaches homeowners how to properly maintain their system
ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (May 27, 2008) - When it comes to septic systems, out of sight shouldn't mean out of mind.
Forgetting or refusing to complete some simple but important maintenance steps can cause a septic system to fail, which is like flushing money down the drain. Even worse than expensive repairs, a failing septic system can also result in serious health risks to the public and damage to the environment.
To educate homeowners on this important topic, the Allen County Onsite Wastewater Management District and its partners in the region have created a new DVD. The 14-minute video, "Septic Systems: Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind," explains what a septic system is, what it does, and how problems can be prevented through regular inspection and proper upkeep.
"Just like a car, a septic system requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly," says Gary Chapple, Director of Pollution Control for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department. "We hope this video will teach homeowners what they need to know beforehand so they don't run into problems later."
For example, it is recommended that homeowners check their effluent filters every 6 to 12 months and have the entire septic system inspected by a qualified professional every two to three years. Fixing leaky faucets, installing low-flow toilets and shower heads, and washing only full loads of laundry and dishes are water-saving tips that can also extend the life of a system.
"Our septic systems need to function properly so that we keep bacteria-laden effluent out of our ground and surface water resources," says Jane Loomis, executive director of the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative. "It is so important to the health of people and of our watershed."
The video was funded in large part by the Allen County Onsite Wastewater Management District with additional funding the by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Other partners in the effort include the health departments in Noble and Dekalb counties, as well as the Dekalb County Soil and Water Conservation District. The Indiana State Department of Health is also helping with its distribution.
Every homeowner who applies for a residential septic system permit in Allen County will receive a copy of the DVD. Copies are also available at the health departments and soil and conservation districts in Noble and Dekalb counties. A copy of the DVD is also being provided to the public libraries in all three counties.
For more information or to watch the video online, go to www.co.allen.in.us/acowmd. The video will be posted for viewing in coming weeks.