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Public Health - News

Posted on: September 11, 2018

This SepticSmart Week, Keep Your System Running Smoothly


Jefferson County, Colo. — In Jefferson County, an estimated 23,000 homes have onsite wastewater treatment systems, or septic systems. Many residents in mountain communities or those with properties in more secluded areas of the county may rely on septic systems rather than city sewage systems for waste disposal. But a well-maintained septic system, just like every other system in your home, requires upkeep and monitoring.

In Jefferson County, permits are required for the construction, transfer of title, operation and maintenance, and repair of septic systems. A Transfer of Title, or Use Permit, is required when a property with a septic system is transferred to another property owner. To assist residents, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) onsite wastewater treatment experts are available to answer questions regarding permits, best practices and troubleshooting with your system. 

September 17-21, 2018, is SepticSmart Week, an annual event hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency focused on educating homeowners and communities on the proper care and maintenance of their septic systems. This SepticSmart week, JCPH wants to make sure all the septic system owners in the county have a full set of tools in their toolbox to be good septic owners.

To help all the septic system owners in the community, here’s a handy check list of ways to ensure your system keeps running smoothly. 

  • JCPH recommends an annual maintenance check to service and ensure components are in good condition and that repairs are made before a major problem develops.
  • Have your septic tank cleaned and pumped by a licensed septic system cleaner when necessary, recommended at least every two to four years.
  • Avoid putting anything other than water and human waste into your system. Items like cooking oils or grease, food wastes, cleaners, non-degradable products, medications or other household chemicals should not be disposed of in your septic system. To properly dispose of household chemical products, please contact a local recycling center, such as the Rooney Road Recycling Center. Don’t flush medications – take those to an approved medication take-back site.
  • Owners should limit the use of harsh cleaners, such as bleach, and discard non-degradable products, like floss, disposable wipes or cat litter, into the trash can instead of flushing them. Other products, like potato peels, coffee grounds and eggshells don’t decompose quickly, so they should also be thrown out or composted rather than put into the disposal. 
  • Repair leaks and use water-efficient fixtures to avoid overloading the system.
  • Protect your soil treatment area, or leach field, from vehicular traffic, excessive drainage, and make sure roots don’t block or damage any of the lines. 
  • Use soaps and detergents that are low-suds, biodegradable and low- or phosphate-free.
  • Prevent the system from freezing during cold weather by inspecting and insulating vulnerable system parts, such as shallow piping.

For more information on onsite wastewater treatment systems in Jefferson County, including information on care, maintenance and permitting, visit To learn more about SepticSmart week, visit

About Jefferson County Public Health

Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan through prevention, education and partnerships for all people. To learn more about JCPH, visit You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.

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