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Septic System Installation and Repair

Septic systems in Wisconsin are officially known as POWTS — Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. A properly installed and operated system treats wastewater from your home and returns it to the groundwater. You are the owner and operator of the system. The system is designed and must be maintained to be environmentally safe and protect the public health.

A POWTS is made up of two main components — a septic tank and a drainfield. The septic tank provides the first step in treatment. It holds the solids and lets bacteria act to break down the solids. The drainfield or soil treatment area can be one of several different types. Which type will be determined by a certified soil tester and will vary with soil type and the groundwater table. Common systems in our area are gravity conventional systems, pumped in-ground pressure systems and mound systems (which are the most visible).

Take care of your system — it is a significant investment you want to protect. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is so true when it comes to your onsite system care. Please consider the following Do’s and Don’ts:

DO:

  • Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed.
  • Repair leaking faucets and toilets promptly.
  • Only discharge biodegradable wastes into system.
  • Divert down spouts and other surface water away from your soil treatment area.
  • Keep your septic tank cover accessible for tank inspections and pumping.
  • Have your effluent screen inspected and cleaned once a year.
  • Have your septic tank pumped regularly and inspected for leaks and cracks.
  • Call a professional when you have problems.
  • Compost your garbage or put it in the trash instead of putting it down the sink.
  • Make sure any water conditioning or softening equipment is approved for use with your system and that it is properly set for your water conditioning/softening needs and operating correctly.

DON’T:

  • Flush sanitary napkins, tampons, disposable diapers, condoms, wipes, cat litter and such products into your system.
  • Dump solvents, oils, paints, thinners, disinfectants, pesticides or poisons down the drain; these can disrupt the treatment process and contaminate groundwater.
  • Dig in your soil treatment area or build anything over it.
  • Plant anything over your soil treatment area except grass.
  • Drive over your soil treatment area or compact the soil in any way.
  • Use a garbage disposal unless your septic tank was sized to handle the required sludge storage volume.

SAFETY FIRST:

  • NEVER physically enter a septic tank or other parts of the treatment system. Call your service provider!
  • Keep access areas locked at all times to prevent unauthorized entry.

When it comes time for you to invest in a POWTS for your new home, for a real estate transfer or if you are having problems with your existing system, call Reindl Plumbing Inc. We are here to answer your questions, guide you through the design process and help obtain the required permits and approvals.