Wanting to Protect Groundwater
10:02 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Oneida County To Inspect Older Septic Systems

Oneida County is trying to inventory and inspect older septic systems.  Until recently the county only required regular inspections on systems built after 1980.

While older septic tanks were often made out of steel, newer ones are usually concrete or plastic.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

But Oneida County Zoning Administrator Karl Jennrich says that has changed.  The county now needs to inspect all of them. 

“ Which is kind of interesting this year, because there are individuals that we’ve contacted that don’t know anything about their septic system, that may never have had it inspected or pumped – that don’t even know what they have for a system.” 

Jennrich says the change will add about 7,000 systems to the county’s inspection database…bringing the total  number of systems up to around 25,000 in Oneida County. 

Jennrich says the county is one of the most active in the state in terms of issuing septic permits…making the whole issue even more important. 

“Most of our water supply is through wells, most of the real estate value in Oneida County is on lakefront property, which again is on septic systems.  So it’s very important that septic systems are properly maintained.”

Rick Johnson of Concrete Products explains a lot of older systems may be made out of steel…which can start to disintegrate after several decades. 

“But there were a tremendous amount of those tanks put in in the 70s.  They were very popular.  And most of them within the last three to five years are starting to rot out, and become an issue.  So if a homeowner has a steel tank, it’s something he definitely wants to look at.” 

Experts agree…it’s better to be proactive and fix systems before they cause a problem. 

Karl Jennrich and Rick Johnson spoke at an information session on septic systems…hosted by the Crescent Town Lakes Committee.