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Residents of the James River Basin can help in keeping their drinking water clean by regularly pumping and treating their septic tanks. While this murky task can be a hassle for many, the James River Basin Partnership will help by providing some financial assistance with its Cost Share Program. KSMU’s Matthew Barnes reports.
If not pumped, a septic system can fail, backing up into a homeowners’ residence and polluting the surrounding soil. Melissa Bettes is the Manager for the Cost Share program.
“It kind of depends on several different things one is size of the tank and how many people are living in the house and utilizing that system. So just on an average, if two people are utilizing a thousand gallon tank with a garbage disposal, we would recommend about every three years,” says Bettes.
The overall goal of the project is to keep unwanted nutrients from polluting the soil and water. Bettes said when a septic tanks fails it makes the task of treating waste much more difficult.
“We’re in a Karst topography area, which simply means that we have a lot of caves and cracks in our bedrocks. So if that effluent isn’t being treated in the soil, then it’s got to go somewhere. So it’s going to go either in the ground water or the surface water,” says Bettes.
Assistance received from the program can vary based on the tank and whether or not you have used the Cost Share Program before. You can find more information on the James River Basin Partnership website or our website KSMU.org. The James River Basin is the large swath of land surrounding the James River, stretching from Marshfield to Washburn. For KSMU News, I’m Matthew Barnes.