Did you know...
A failing septic system can impact more than just your wallet, it can:
Allow potentially harmful bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms to enter our drinking water
Result in greater algae and plant growth in the lake as a result of added nutrients
Result in decreased dissolved oxygen in the lake
Result in people coming into direct contact with raw sewage
You can help!
Over 700 homes in the Lake Whatcom watershed rely on a septic system to treat their sewage. As a septic system owner, you are responsible for evaluating and maintaining your system to make sure it is working properly. Properly working and maintained systems protect public health by keeping sewage out of the lake and reduce the chance that your system will require costly repairs in the future. Help is available! Learn more at www.whatcomcounty.us/septic or call the Whatcom County Health Department at (360) 778-6000.
Avoid septic system failure:
Evaluate gravity systems every three years
Evaluate all other types of systems annually
Get your septic system pumped when solids reach 1/3 of tank volume
Avoid overloading your septic system:
Check your sinks, toilets, and showers regularly for leaks
Run your dishwasher, washing machine, and showers at different times
Have a break between running loads of washing
Redirect surface water runoff away from the drain field
Be aware of what is going down the drain and entering your system:
Avoid using your garbage disposal; sending food into your tank fills it up faster!
Avoid flushing products designed to kill bacteria down your drain/toilet as these may also kill the essential bacteria needed to make your septic system work properly (antibiotics, products containing bleach, polishes, caustic drain openers)
Use cleaning products that are safe for septic systems (OSS)
Keep grease and oils out of your drains
Avoid using any products containing phosphates or nitrates as these may enter the water supply
Flush only human waste and toilet paper down the toilet
Septic System Failure
If you are having a problem with your septic system, you should have it inspected immediately.
Contact the Whatcom County Health Department (360) 778-6000
Have your system pumped by a licensed septic tank pumper