August 9 – 15, 2019Vol. 21, No. 10

Pump It!

What a leach field should look like. Photo courtesy of Maine Lakes Society.

by Sabine Fontaine

When was the last time you had your septic pumped? If you don't know, you're not alone. A septic system contains two parts: a tank which holds and separates household waste and a leach field which filters pollutants from the liquid waste. One check you can do yourself is walk around on your leach field to ensure it is dry and solid underfoot. Make sure there is no odor, and clear the field of any woody vegetation. You can also look downhill from the septic. If the vegetation is greener and more vigorous there, your leach field might be leaking!

When it is functioning properly, the system protects pollutants from entering the lake. LakeSmart recommends have a regular pumping schedule with your service provider. If you haven't had it pumped in the last 6 years, do so! Service the system at least every 6 years just to make sure everything is functioning as it should. If you don't know where your leach field is, find it! Check your records for drawings of the septic location, and contact a septic inspector to check it out. Remember: if you don't know where it is, you can't be sure it's not leaking into the lake!!

If you are interested in getting personalized LakeSmart recommendations for your property, you can sign up for a free, no-obligation, LakeSmart visit by contacting Sabine Fontaine at or 512-5150.