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On-Site Sewage & Wells

In nature, all living things use resources and produce wastes. The wastes of each group of organisms represent resources for another group of organisms so that materials are re-assimilated. We are now learning that our health is totally dependent on the health of the environment and its cycles and that accumulation of wastes can cause environmental problems.

It used to be said that a stream would cleanse itself in ten (10) miles of flow. This distance was generally maintained between settlements along rivers so that waste from an upstream settlement would not be consumed by those downstream. In other words, the engineering attitude of earlier days could be summed up with the following: "The solution to your pollution is dilution." As populations grew, the stream's ability to cleanse itself waned. This resulted in the accumulation of wastes in a deteriorating environment.

For this reason, public water supplies in the State of Connecticut today are drawn only from water of protected well fields or separated surface water and reservoir systems where human waste discharge is prohibited. For many years, it was assumed that connection to public sewers should be the goal of every household. Only recently have governments and engineers come to the realization that in many areas on-site disposal is far more cost effective than a collection system and a central treatment unit.

On-site disposal is a viable alternative to sewerage. On-site disposal systems can provide adequate ground and surface water protection for present and future generations or they can make water totally unfit for consumption. Proper design, location, installation, and maintenance make the difference between these two scenarios.

The technology of on-site waste disposal has rapidly advanced during the last decades. In addition to the rediscovery of very old and satisfactory methods of disposal, new methods have been engineered for application on difficult sites. These new applications have been in use long enough that much performance data is available. It is now possible to present design criteria, construction methods, and maintenance requirements, as well as identify potential problems of these systems. A very large percentage of failures of systems are due to the lack of proper maintenance. Proper maintenance procedures are available through your local health department, so that your system will perform as designed for many decades.

Private wells are regulated by local health departments or districts. It is likewise imperative that the location for a new well be reviewed for the best protection from contamination and in compliance with State Public Health Code sanitary setback requirements. Every well that is drilled or pounded represents a perforation of the earth's crust, which is nature's protective barrier of the deeper water bearing aquifers. For this reason it is equally important that owners of wells that are no longer in use properly abandon those wells to reseal the earth from future contamination potential and preserve our precious water resources for the future generations.

The Wallingford Health Department oversees the on-site sewage disposal systems and private wells of Wallingford. It is important that homeowners are informed about the essential environmental balance of both waste and water supply systems. Information about the proper maintenance of both on-site septic systems and private wells is available by calling the Wallingford Health Department at (203) 294-2065, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.