Most septic system owners conclude their system is in acceptable working order simply because their home isn’t currently experiencing a septic backup. While this is an end goal, it’s important to understand the inner workings of your septic system so you can help prevent backups and ensure your system is running efficiently for years to come.
Properly functioning septic systems keep us safe and healthy by protecting us from waterborne diseases caused by fecal pathogens in the water supply. Contamination can come from direct or indirect contact with standing sewage, groundwater contamination or surface water pollution. Septic systems have reduced the commonness of waterborne diseases like typhoid, amoebic dysentery, paratyphoid, giardiasis, legionnaires disease, hepatitis, bacillary dysentery, polio, cholera, meningitis.
Wastewater technology has greatly evolved the past few decades. With more advanced systems (like aerobic systems) comes an increased need for costly maintenance. The rocky soil of the outskirts of San Antonio does not treat wastewater well with a conventional septic system, so most newer homes in our area utilize aerobic systems. Although maintenance can add up, it’s much preferable to becoming ill due to untreated wastewater entering our aquifers. It isn’t necessarily enjoyable to spend money on basic necessities like septic systems, but it is in many ways a privilege, one that many countries around the world would be thankful to have.