Septic systems that are poorly designed, installed, operated or maintained can cause serious problems.The most serious problems involve the contamination of nearby waters with disease causing pathogens and nitrates. This negatively impacts the health of humans and wildlife; damages tourism and recreation industries; and is energy intensive as well as expensive to treat and clean the water.
In the City of Roanoke, the Roanoke River and 11 of the 13 tributaries are impaired. Impaired streams are those that do not meet state water quality standards. The most common pollutant in the City of Roanoke is bacteria. Bacteria comes from pet waste, sewer failure, malfunctioning septic systems, agriculture, and wildlife. Proper septic maintenance is a vital part of creating a Clean Water Legacy in the City of Roanoke.