September 16, 2022
Onsite Sewage division highlighted during Environmental Awareness Month
MOBILE, Ala. — September represents Environmental Awareness Month, with the goal of promoting the protection and conservation of our natural environment. The Mobile County Health Department’s Onsite Sewage division plays a vital role in this mission.
The Onsite Sewage division regulates the permitting, installation, and inspections of the onsite sewage disposal system (septic tanks) for all of Mobile County, both residential and commercial. In addition, onsite regulates septic and sewage tank pumpers and requires an annual inspection of the pump truck prior to use. All persons involved in the onsite sewage disposal system industry are required to be licensed by the Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board.
Other duties for the onsite include permitting and inspection of three solid waste transfer stations in Mobile County while also being involved in creating and expanding private and public cemeteries. Regulating this industry is essential to ensuring our groundwater and surface water supply is not contaminated with untreated wastewater.
Failing septic tank systems can introduce untreated wastewater into the environment. Once it enters the environment, it can cause many problems for our community. When a system fails, it will contaminate the groundwater or the surface water, creating environmental concerns for nearby streams and lakes and polluting the drinking water supply.
When this happens, disease-causing bacteria and viruses can be released into our beautiful waterways. In Mobile, our waterways host a variety of fish, birds, plants, and other species that depend on clean water to survive. In addition, our waterways serve as a recreational venue during most of the year. Activities like boating, kayaking, swimming, and fishing are more enjoyable when you have a fresh and clean water supply.
Limiting septic tank failures and solid waste discharge is very important to the environment’s health. The main goal of our onsite division is to ensure the proper design, installation, and maintenance of the septic tank. The onsite division believes that their work will help eliminate the contamination of our waterways. Still, you can also do something to ensure your septic tank is operating appropriately and not contributing to the problem.
First, call your local health department or licensed contractor when a problem arises with your septic tank. Secondly, have your system pumped by a licensed contractor, as suggested. Third, repair all leaking fixtures in your home. Fourth, conserve water by avoiding long showers and unnecessary water usage. Lastly, please keep detailed records of repairs, pumpings, inspections, and other maintenance activities.
Protecting the environment and Mobile’s beautiful waterways is everyone’s responsibility. The Onsite division of the Mobile County Health Department is committed to reducing untreated wastewater by regulating the permitting, installation, and inspection of septic tanks. With your help, we can preserve one of our most treasured local assets, the waterways of Mobile County, and the environment surrounding the area.
If you have any questions, please contact the Onsite division. The office is located at 1110 Schillinger Road North, Room 200, Mobile, Alabama 36608. Onsite is next to the Jon Archer Agricultural Center. The office is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The telephone number is 251-634-9801.