• Jennifer M. Lee, PhD

Wells and Septic Systems

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Working in 6 counties in both NC & SC, I have seen many a well and septic system. My first home had a septic system, and it worked perfectly, with a little attention and minor maintenance. True story: Make sure the septic lid is not cracked, or you'll be running through the yard squealing while spraying mutant palmetto bugs.



Buying or Building?


When buying a home, be sure to have the well and septic inspected. If you're building, you'll need to contact the county health department who likely oversees the initial stages of well and septic installation, including permitting. You'll need a "perc test".


North Carolina Links:


https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/water-resources/water-resources-permits/wastewater-branch/ground-water-protection/well-program


https://ehs.ncpublichealth.com/oswp/docs/PrivateWellsFrequentlyAskedQuestions.pdf


https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/septic-systems-and-their-maintenance


South Carolina Links:


https://scdhec.gov/environment/your-home/septic-tanks/septic-tanks-permits-regulations


https://scdhec.gov/bureau-water/residential-wells



Water Supply Well Tips

  • Protect your wellhead Keep all potential sources of contamination 100 feet or more from the well.

  • Do not store chemicals in your well house.

  • Sample the well annually for bacteria and keep a record on maintenance

  • Repairs to a well should be completed by a certified well contractor.

Here's a link: http://www.wellcontractors.nc.gov/web/eh/wcc



Septic System Care


  • Regularly pump the septic tank

  • Locate the septic lid and keep it marked

  • Know and adhere to the minimum maintenance requirements for your system

  • Keep records on the design, location, and maintenance activities

  • Immediately respond to a failing system by calling in the experts.

  • Repair leaky faucets and toilets

  • Direct storm water and irrigation away from the drainage field

  • Think proper landscaping: Keep trees and shrubs out of the drainage field

  • Remember, nothing should be built over the septic tank or drainage field. If in doubt, call in an expert before building a shed, pool, or patio

Your county health department is there to assist, answer questions, and refer to water sampling.



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