Operation and Maintenance Program
Effective Jan. 1, 2015, all sewage treatment systems are required to be entered into a Operation and Maintenance Program. State sewage rules that went into effect January 2015 require all sewage treatment systems be properly operated and maintained, and an inspection must be performed to assure that the system is operating properly.
It’s estimated there are around 30,000 individual household and small commercial sewage treatment systems in Licking County. Under the new state rules, the Health Department is required to enroll all of these systems into a program, verifying proper operation and maintenance. With so many sewage systems, often lacking documentation on their location or design, LCHD officials estimate it may take 20 years to locate all of the systems and enroll them in the state mandated Operation and Maintenance Program.
The department began inspecting systems in 2016 in areas that have historically caused public health nuisances. The department has added new, altered or replaced systems, as well as those inspected due to a failure, and inspected as part of a home sale, to the O & M program.
During 2014, LCHD staff inspected a 74 lot subdivision in Granville Township and found failure rates ranging from 36 percent for aeration systems, to 9 percent for septic tank systems. An additional 36 percent of aeration systems were not being maintained properly and needed serviced.
LCHD will begin Operation and Maintenance Program inspections in areas where, historically, high failure rates have been identified.
Beginning in 2017, systems that discharge sewage off-lot (to a ditch, stream, tile, etc) and drip irrigation systems will require annual inspections, and soil absorption systems (leaching, mound, etc) will require inspection every five years. Homeowners may have their systems inspected by a qualified service provider, by the Health Department, or with proper training and registration they will be able to perform their own inspections.