A home’s septic system, when near the lake or its tributaries, can have a huge impact on the lake and its ecosystem. If not cared for, septic systems can wreak havoc on the aquatic environment of this community.
Property owners should familiarize themselves with the type of wastewater treatment plant on their property. Frequent inspection and proper maintenance can be beneficial from a health and financial point of view. This will help prevent negative septic effects. Failed systems not only pollute the environment, but are also expensive to repair or replace.
For those unfamiliar, septic systems are underground sewage treatment plants that are often used in rural areas with no centralized sewage systems. Much of the homes on Smith Mountain Lake rely on sewage treatment plants. They use a combination of nature and proven technology to purify wastewater from home plumbing.
A typical sewage system consists of a septic tank and a soil absorption runoff field. The septic tank digests organic matter and separates floating matter (e.g. oils and fats) and solids from the wastewater. Soil-based systems divert the liquid (known as sewage) from the septic tank into a series of perforated pipes buried in a caustic field, chambers, or other special unit that slowly drain the sewage into the ground. There are other types of systems in Virginia including a septic tank, conventional system, aerobic treatment unit, and an alternate system.
Property owners can help keep sewage treatment plants working properly by following these steps: