Beneath the ground in Florida lies at least 2.7 million septic systems, processing billions of gallons of waste a year. The controversy of how much of the nitrogen and other pollutants that are eliminated out of septic tanks and make their way to our waterways causing serious issues, such as algae growth. 

Septic Systems and Protecting the environment

The EPA warns, “More than four billion gallons of wastewater are dispersed below the ground’s surface every day. Ground water contaminated by poorly or untreated household wastewater poses dangers to drinking water and to the environment. Malfunctioning septic systems release bacteria, viruses, and chemicals toxic to local waterways. When these pollutants are released into the ground, they eventually enter streams, rivers, lakes, and more, harming local ecosystems by killing native plants, fish, and shellfish. Learn more about how septic systems can help support greener, more sustainable communities.”.

USA Today describes how a septic system works

Waste flows from house into septic tank, where solids sink to bottom and soap and grease float to top.

Wastewater leaves tank and flows to drain field 

Wastewater flows out through holes in pipes, through gravel and soil where bacteria is supposed to decompose the waste, cleaning the water as it seeps into groundwater and aquifer.

Cracked tanks can lead untreated waste into aquifer.

Septic shortcomings: Many tanks and drain fields are too close to the ground water and can’t provide enough treatment. Then, nitrogen, found in human waste and detergent, flows into the aquifer and travels to springs and lakes where it can promote algae growth and cause fish kills.

“People forget about the septic tank. It’s underground, no one sees it. There’s no maintenance performed until there’s an issue with it,” said Dave Denny, former utilities director for the city of Deltona. “People are busy and they have a thousand different things to do. It’s out of sight and out of mind until it becomes an issue, and then it’s a top priority.”

The Importance Of Having Your Septic Tank Pumped and System Inspected

What many people don’t realize is that the septic system depends on a fragile balance of organic matter and living microorganisms in order to properly process waste matter. Unfortunately, this fragile balance can be easily disturbed by lack of maintenance and misuse, potentially causing a hazardous and dangerous situation. Which is why it is so important to have your septic tank pumped every 2 to 5 years and system inspected every year.

Contact Orlando Septic Service for more information and an appointment.