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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Septic System Fails Inspection

CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- A woman has a septic system that works fine, yet it failed inspection.
So, her family turns to Local 12 Troubleshooter Howard Ain for help when she's faced with a huge bill to make some changes.

Paul Muth says the Symmes Township home his 84-year-old mother has lived in since 1977, has a very good septic system. He says in all these years nothing has changed with that system.

"When the house was built your plumbing, electric, it all gets inspected and if it doesn't pass they're not going to let you move in."

Although everything has passed over years, the health department recently sent this notice saying the system 
failed an inspection.
The problem is rain water from the gutters and around the house is going into the septic system.

Muth: "The water comes from the house into this pit, comes from that into this. This is where your aerator is. It's just a motor that spins churning up the water, goes from that pit into this pit. It goes through that white pipe out into the leach field and diffuses out into the ground."

The big thing, Muth says, is that the cost to divert the water, so it doesn't go into the septic, is going to cost several thousand dollars. Money, he says, his mother just doesn't have.

Muth: "We didn't install it. We didn't inspect it and say it was okay. They did. They'll even tell you it is functioning fine. They just don't like the fact storm water is falling in there, so they want her to spend 3 or 4 thousand dollars to fix it."
So, I contacted the Hamilton County Health Department and learned a recent inspection found the septic system was backing up, possibly because it was overloaded from the rain water.
When clear water is introduced into a septic system, the department says, it can cause system overload, pollution and ultimately early system failure.  This was outlawed about two years before Muth's house was built, but they say it is hard to spot.
They say its better to fix it now rather than having to replace the entire system later at a cost of up to 20-thousand dollars.




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