Is the water around you protected from septic systems?
Most people don’t really think much about the wastewater created in the home from the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry areas. Out of sight and out of mind is what happens in most cases with septic systems until problems occur. However, failing septic systems are more than a nuisance they are a health hazard and can cause significant problems in the coastal environment.
Over 50 percent of the coastal residents in North Carolina are on septic tank systems. This includes farms and small communities as well as major resort areas, such as many of North Carolina’s barrier island beaches. One of the easiest ways to protect coastal waters from pollution is to check and maintain your septic system. This will also help your investment in your coastal home.
If not properly installed or maintained, septic systems can pollute wells and water resources when they are placed too close to a well or to surface water such as shellfish harvesting waters. The major contaminants from failing septic systems that enter water are disease-causing germs. These invisible germs such as bacteria and viruses can cause many human diseases. Fecal coliform is an indicator that there is a problem with warm-blooded human or animal waste (from pets, wild animals, sewage) present in the water. Maintaining a septic tank system is more than septic tank cleaning in Surf City NC after the system has started failing. Instead, it will usually be necessary to install a new drainfield. This can cost quite a lot of money and will result in a major disturbance to your landscape from digging up your yard.
Another potential contaminant that can come from septic systems is nitrogen in the form of nitrate-nitrogen fertilizers and manure. If the nitrate level of your well water is too high, the water can potentially be hazardous to infants in their first six months of life. Nitrogen in lower levels can also lead to contamination that leads to increased enrichment of nutrients in rivers, streams, or estuaries. This can cause algae blooms and loss of dissolved oxygen, which most plants and animals need in estuarine waters. All of these can also lead to warnings of contaminated water for recreational swimmers as well as closure of shellfish harvesting beds.
It can be expensive to get pollutants out of water once they get there. New wells or treatment systems would be required to get unpolluted water again. Clearly, it is much more effective to keep pollutants out of water than to try to clean up problems afterward.
All credit for this information listed here goes to: http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/assist/cas/septic/index.htm