Gloucester County Reminds Residents To Regularly Pump Out Their Treatment Plants (Photo by Skylar Kang of Pexels)
GLOUCESTER – With the holidays in full swing, district officials are encouraging residents to ensure they are doing the necessary regular maintenance on their sewage treatment plants. Both Virginia Code and Gloucester Countys Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance Sec. 5.5-9 (b) (5) provides that all on-site wastewater disposal systems are pumped out at least every five years.
According to Kevin Landry, director of the environmental program, research has shown that failing sewage treatment plants cause significant amounts of pollution in groundwater and the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. By pumping the septic tanks before they are full, the number of solids exiting the septic tanks and traveling into the drainage field is greatly reduced, allowing the drainage field to function as intended for a much longer period of time.
To pump out or have your system inspected, you can contact any sewage remover approved for operation within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Landry added that expressing regularly is not only good for the environment, but also for public health. “A full or poorly maintained septic tank can cause pollutants to spread to your property, putting you and your pets at risk of disease,” Landry said.
Regular pumping also allows the system to run more efficiently, saving the owner money. For example, a septic tank with too much sludge cannot treat wastewater effectively or efficiently. The system will be thrown out of whack and may fail. Then replacing a failed tank can be both costly and inconvenient.
Aside from regular expressions, Landry offers several other tips to avoid overloading your wastewater treatment plant during the holiday season. He suggests using water-based equipment during the holiday season. He also said to avoid throwing food waste down the drain and to stay away from dumping cooking fat and oil down the drain. Finally, he suggests not flushing any items other than toilet paper down the toilet.
For more information on this or any other Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance requirements, contact Ron Owens, Chesapeake Bay Program Administrator at the Environmental Programs Office at (804) 693-1217 or [email protected]