When homeowners purchase homes with a private well water and septic system there are obvious advantages in not paying for water usage and waste disposal, but like most things there’s a flip side – routine maintenance and periodic inspections.
In the United States, one out of every four homeowners rely on a septic system and more than 42 million Americans get their drinking water from private wells, making routine maintenance an important issue. “There are simple things that every homeowner can do to keep their well and septic systems operating effectively and efficiently for decades,” says Dominic DiGiovine of Stevensville, Chesapeake Environmental Lab (CEL) president and laboratory director.
Here are some guidelines:
• Know what’s in your water. Have a baseline water test and include any local contaminates conducted so you know what minerals and impurities are in your unfiltered water. Annual well maintenance should include a bacterial test.
• Pump out your septic on a regular basis. Each county or jurisdiction provides required pump out times, but you may need to adjust for the number of individuals and usage in your household and the specific capacity requirement of your septic system.
• Always seek assistance from licensed inspectors and companies. Do not skimp on qualification when it comes to clean water analysis and proper septic system inspection and disposal.
• Conduct onsite sewage disposal system inspections. In Maryland, 52,000 of the 420,000 septic systems are located in critical areas within 1,000 feet of tidal waters. Inspecting and upgrading septic systems to reduce nitrogen is crucial to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and must be performed by a Maryland licensed inspector.
• Test your hot tub and whirlpool water. Your hot tub and whirlpool, if not properly cleaned or maintained, can contain harmful bacteria. CEL has a specific test to determine this possibility.
• Keep hazardous chemicals such as paints, fertilizers and pesticides far away from your well and do not dispose of hazardous materials into your septic system.
“There are excellent resources online and through knowledgeable contractors,” says Eva DiGiovine Stoops of Centreville, vice president of CEL. “The first thing any homeowner new to privately owned well and septic systems should do is to learn more. By gaining more knowledge not only can they manage a responsible maintenance plan, but also can ask the right questions. Our knowledgeable staff is well equipped to answer their questions. ” she adds.
For more information on well and septic system maintenance and testing, call CEL at (800) 300-8378.
Founded in 1991, Chesapeake Environmental Lab (CEL) is a Maryland State Certified Water Quality Laboratory (#181) that conducts water testing for homeowners, real estates agents, wastewater treatment plants, public and private entities that oversee rivers and beaches in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Montgomery, Howard and Baltimore counties, as well as Maryland’s Eastern Shore and parts of Delaware.
CEL specializes in comprehensive water analysis, well and septic inspections, well chlorination services, arsenic, fluoride, radon (air and water), radium, lead and copper testing. For the past 20 years CEL has been committed to educating consumers, builders and contractors, real estate professionals and businesses on the importance of clean and safe drinking water.
For more information, call (410) 643-0800 or toll-free at (800) 300-TEST (300-8378) or visit www.ChesapeakeEnvironmentalLab.com.
Dominic DiGiovine of Stevensville, Chesapeake Environmental Lab (CEL) president and laboratory director, performs an E. coli bacteria test for a wastewater treatment plant. Celebrating its 20th year in business, CEL specializes in comprehensive water analysis, well and septic inspections, well chlorination services, arsenic, fluoride, radon (air and water), radium, lead and copper testing. For more information, call (410) 643-0800 or toll-free at (800) 300-TEST (300-8378).