Septic Smart Week brings awareness to importance of sewer maintenance

BURLINGTON, V.T. (WCAX) It's not the most glamorous topic-- but it's Septic Smart Week in Vermont.

Experts say it's one of those out-of-sight, out-of-mind systems that can cause big problems. They say annual maintenance of your septic system costs a few hundred bucks, but problems could have you paying tens of thousands of dollars. And a failed system could also cause health problems.

This week is all about helping people understand the role septic systems play by providing some steps to follow.

"We don't want to overload the system, try not to do lots of loads of washing on the same day because if we have too much water flowing through the septic tank, it won't be able to work properly. Also, we don't want to overfeed it. Try not to put too much food waste into your septic," said Grahame Bradley of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

"The expense to do a regular septic system, there's two different phasing, $10,000-$15,000 for, perhaps, an easy one, complicated can be as much as $30,000. So, it's a very expensive proposition to replace them," said Gunner McCain, the president of McCain Consulting,

We're told 55 percent of Vermonters rely on septic systems.

Watch the video for the full interviews.