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SSTS (Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems) Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are Mound Septic Systems required in Benton County?
  2. My septic system has worked fine for 25 years why do I need to have it inspected when I sell my property?
  3. How do I keep my septic system from freezing?
  4. Why do I need to pump my septic tank, and how do I keep it from failing?
  5. Do I need to certify my septic system to build a garage?
  6. Who can I contact to certify my septic system?

Are Mound Septic Systems required in Benton County?

The septic systems is determined by the amount of separation from the highest point that groundwater reaches (seasonal saturation) and the point where sewage treatment begins (bottom of pipe) which must be 3 feet. Since most of Benton County has a high water table mounds will be the most common septic system put in.

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My septic system has worked fine for 25 years why do I need to have it inspected when I sell my property?

Benton County has a point of sale ordinance which requires a compliance inspection when property transfers unless the seller has an updated certificate of compliance that is less than 5 years or 3 years depending on who inspected it. There are a few exemptions, if the property has a community of central sewer system, building with no plumbing fixtures or are not suitable for human habitation. Also if the certificate of real estate value is less than $1000 or a completion of a contract for deed or purchase agreement extended into before June 18, 2002.

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How do I keep my septic system from freezing?

The major cause of freezing is settling of the two inch pipe that pumps to the drain fields which causes back flow to settle in the pipe instead of going back into the pump station. Most contractors install a 10 ft 4 inch sleeve and use a more rigid pipe to prevent this. Other causes are too little water use since sewage heats the drain field. High water tables which slow down percolation into the ground. Also running sump pump water, humidifier water or dripping faucets. The best way to prevent freezing is to put straw over the drain field and the pump station pipe.

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Why do I need to pump my septic tank, and how do I keep it from Failing?

The purpose of pumping your septic tank is to prevent solids from getting into the drain field. Over time solids accumulate in the septic and will eventually plug up your drain field.

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Do I need to certify my septic system to build a garage?

It depends, any building permit in the shore land, a variance or conditional use permit would trigger a compliance inspection. Otherwise no compliance inspection would be required.

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Who can I contact to Certify my septic system?

You can hire any state-licensed inspector to certify your septic system. Septic professionals that have requested to be on our list can be viewed by clicking HERE. Inclusion on the website list does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by Benton County.

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