Septic Systems

If you are like most folks, these new OSSF's (septic systems) are confusing at best, irritating at worst. Well, you're not alone. Not only do many owners not understand their systems, many regulators and industry practitioners do not understand them, either.

On February 4, 1997, under the instruction of the Legislature, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission promulgated a new set of OSSF (septic) rules that were to apply, as minimum standards, across the entire State.

These rules were dramatically different than anything the State had been doing, and even dramatically different than what most local agencies had been doing.

These rules began the necessary, unpopular, and difficult first step of looking at the long-term public health and environmental implications of septic systems as a permanent development solution. Up until then, no real thought was given to the long-term public health and environmental risks.

Prior to these new rules, the mind set was “flush it and forget it”. The “flush and forget it” mind set was, and is, shortsighted, irresponsible, and s such had to change.

As it is in most things, rules that are not enforced are not followed. Just like traffic, if everyone follows the rules, traffic flows better. As more and more people run red lights, turn left illegally, follow too close, cut others off without proper separation, exceed the speed limit, and the like, our traffic becomes more snarled.

It's identically the same in OSSF's. We are now in a position that is more confusing and conflicting than before, because of all the participants that are not playing by the rules – including the agencies. Time has now come to say, “Enough is enough.”

If you are a law abiding, rule following person, you need your local agency to enforce the rules. Call or write them. Tell them your problems. Let them know you need them to enforce the rules so you can get uniform and quality opinions, solutions, services, and products.



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