With the warm weather still upon us it’s a good time for those living on unsewered properties to take a quick inspection of the area immediately around the disposal trench or bed associated with your on-site wastewater treatment system. As the warmer summer season tends to hay-off and dry out the grasses and vegetation around the disposal area, any unusual, isolated, or prominent patches of green, lush and tall grasses – or soft and spongy surfaces could indicate a problem with the system.

Ideally the distribution of effluent through the disposal trench or bed is uniform and even across the whole area, however sometimes this is not the case, and where there is low point or general fall in the construction of the disposal system it will usually be associated with the formation of abnormally green and soft patches compared to the surrounding areas. If the problem is significantly bad there may even be effluent breaching the surface and ponding – or flowing downslope of the system which can invariably be a source of health risks if it comes into contact with humans, or animals. Effluent that migrates across the surface can also reach dams, drainage lines, creeks and river systems, or be flushed in these important natural features during rain events and contribute to waterway pollution.

So, if you notice any areas of lush green grass in the general vicinity of the wastewater disposal system – similar to the grass patch in the attached image, or soft patches with effluent water ponding at or just under the surface consider calling a wastewater specialist to investigate the probable cause and to discuss possible options. You, your family members and pets, along with the environment will benefit from a quick and simple inspection of the wastewater disposal area. It is important to keep in mind that any changes to an existing wastewater disposal system may also require approval from your local Council.

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