Blue water background for print only

Septic Systems







An on-site (septic) system that is properly designed, installed, and maintained poses no threat to groundwater. However, inadequately functioning and/or failing systems can contribute to the contamination of groundwater with nitrates, harmful bacteria, and viruses. When disposed of improperly in an on-site system, trace amounts of metals and hazardous chemicals (from pesticides, solvents, and cleaners) can also contaminate groundwater.

To prevent contamination of your drinking water well, the system must be located a safe distance away from your well and the system must be kept in proper working order through routine maintenance.


Return to Top of Page


Photo courtesy of Ryan Gerlich (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service) Photo courtesy of Ryan Gerlich (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service)

Groundwater and Septic Systems

Groundwater Pollution Primer from Virginia Tech explores the environmental impacts of septic systems.



EPA's Septic (Onsite/Decentralized) Systems website includes a suite of case studies demonstrating what communities across the country are doing to effectively manage their decentralized wastewater infrastructure and find solutions to meet their own unique wastewater infrastructure needs.

Return to Top of Page


Image courtesy of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Image courtesy of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

What is a septic system?

National Environmental Services Center's Septic Systems webpage has a host of information on a variety of topics.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) has developed public outreach interactive media tools to educate citizens about on-site sewage facilities (i.e., septic systems) and off-site sewage facilities (i.e., wastewater treatment plants).

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service's On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSF) website provides information about onsite wastewater treatment systems (including conventional septic systems and advanced systems), operation and maintenance requirements, and upcoming programs.



Return to Top of Page


Photo courtesy of Ryan Gerlich (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service) Photo courtesy of Ryan Gerlich (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service)

Getting a Septic System

Return to Top of Page


Photo courtesy of Ryan Gerlich (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service) Photo courtesy of Ryan Gerlich (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service)

Septic System Maintenance

Return to Top of Page


Septic Research

Return to Top of Page


Publications

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service on-line Bookstore offers a number of publications on septic systems, also known as on-site sewage facilities (OSSFs) or on-site wastewater treatment systems (e.g., Operation and Maintenance (L-5347), Selecting and Permitting (B-6077), Service Contracts (B-6171), Understanding and Maintaining (L-5491), Graywater (B-6176), etc.). Free electronic downloads of these publications (add an "e" in front of the publication number) are also available after setting up an account.

Return to Top of Page


Groundwater Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Return to Top of Page