TRI-LAKES MANAGEMENT DISTRICT

SEPTIC INSPECTION PROGRAM

Why?

Failing septic systems can add pollutants to lakes increasing weed and algae growth.  Additionally, nutrients, bacteria, viruses and hazardous chemicals can be added to the groundwater.

WHO IS AFFECTED? 

Properties with septic systems installed prior to July 1, 1992.  Newer systems are monitored by Adams County.

WHAT IS REQUIRED?

Septic systems need to be inspected and/or pumped at least once every three years.  More frequent pumpings are encouraged especially if you are a full-time resident and have a garbage disposal.

HOW DOES THE TRI-LAKES PROGRAM WORK?

On March 1st of each year, a letter is sent to each property owner who is required to have his system inspected for that year.  A postcard is included which is completed by the septic service and returned to Tri-Lakes verifying that the system has been inspected and has passed or failed.

WHO DO I CONTACT?

If you don’t already have a septic service, look in the yellow pages under ‘Septic Tank—Cleaning and Repairing’.

WHEN DOES IT NEED TO BE DONE?

 Inspections need to be completed by October 31st.

IS THERE A PENALTY IF I DON'T COMPLY?

Yes, a citation with a fine of $200.50 will be issued.  Additional citations will be issued until the septic inspection is performed.

WHAT IF I PLAN TO HAVE MY SYSTEM PUMPED & I DIDN’T RECEIVE A LETTER?

Go ahead and have it pumped.  When you do receive your letter, just have the septic service sign and verify the date of inspection.  There is a window of acceptable dates to meet the requirement.  For example, in 2014, acceptable dates run from February 1, 2012 to October 31, 2014.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS? 

 Contact the Tri-Lakes office  at 715-325-3250.

Septic System Dos and Don'ts

Dos:

  • Use water efficiently to avoid overloading the septic system.  Be sure to repair leaky faucets or toilets.
  • Use bathroom cleaners and laundry detergents in moderation.  A mild detergent or baking soda is preferable.
  • Plant only grass over and near your septic system.  Roots from nearby trees or shrubs might clog and damage the drainfield.

Don’ts:

  • Your septic system is not a trash can.  Don’t put dental floss, feminine hygiene products, condoms, diapers, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, cat litter, paper towels, latex paint, pesticides or other hazardous chemicals into your system.
  • Don’t use caustic drain openers for a clogged drain.  Instead, use boiling water or a drain snake to open clogs.
  • Don’t drive or park vehicles on any part of your septic system.  Doing so can compact the soil in your drainfield or damage the pipes, tank or other septic system components.

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