Are you a victim of a septic system failure in Tennessee?
GWP Budget Out of Control
Have you experienced a septic system failure at your home or know someone who has within the State of Tennessee? If your answer is “yes,” please read on and find out what you can do to help prevent future septic system failures.
Who is in charge of septic systems in Tennessee
The State of Tennessee has many state agencies that are in place to help protect and serve Tennesseans. Within state agencies are more agencies that over see specific areas. The agency that directly oversees nearly 100% of septic tank and field line installations is Ground Water Protection (GWP), a division within the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).
Permitting and installation process
When a home is built that must utilize a septic tank and field line, a permit must be obtained. The permit is usually applied for by the homeowner or builder at the county health department. The current cost of the permit in Tennessee for a standard septic tank and field line system is $250.
The $250 dollars pays for a Ground Water Protection field staff to come out to the land that the system will be installed. Based on numerous factors such as ground contour, house and driveway placement, and number of bedrooms, etc., the Ground Water Protection staff layout and design the system to suit the home’s unique situation. The system is then installed by a licensed septic system installer. However, before the system is covered up, the system must be inspected by Ground Water Protection field staff. This offers a final check to the homeowner or home builder that the system was installed in accordance to Ground Water Protection design specifications and declares the system ready for use.
A septic system is just like any other piece of equipment, structure, or vehicle that requires maintenance. The system must be properly maintained in order for the system to function as intended for many years, often for the life of the structure that the system serves. However, there is no information provided by Ground Water Protection about how to properly maintain a septic system, not even a phone number or website address to help you find someone within the state that could help.
Fast forward to the unfortunate day that it becomes noticeable that your septic system is beginning to show signs of failure. At this point, problems have most likely started weeks or even months prior to the first symptoms of trouble. More often than not it is too late for easy fixes and time to pay out thousands of more dollars for a system repair.
Before you can repair the system, a Septic System Repair permit must be obtained from Ground Water Protection at the same location you paid for your initial installation permit. The repair permit cost nothing. After the repair permit is applied for, the same Ground Water Protection field office that designed your septic system that failed will come back out to the site and design a fix for the failed system.
At this point, you should start to see the problem with Ground Water Protection. If you do not see the problem, you will see the problem more clearly when you have to pay out thousands of dollars to fix the states improper design of your septic system.
What you should do when your septic system fails
The first step once your septic system fails should be to contact the local Ground Water Protection office in your county or region and let them know you have a problem. The second thing you should do immediately after contacting Ground Water Protection is to call and write your local State Representative and State Senator. File an official complaint against Ground Water Protection and demand change within the Nashville Ground Water Protection office because of the agency's irresponsible actions not to update or properly train field staff that are competent to design a septic system. You are about to pay or have already paid out thousands of dollars for a “fix” that could have been avoided if Ground Water Protection would have properly designed the septic system in the first place.
This website was created by a group of septic system Tennessee homeowners, for the septic system Tennessee homeowner, to help you know your rights and to help you bring about change to the Ground Water Protection office. If you have experienced a septic system failure contact your local representative by telephone to "file a complaint" against Ground Water Protection. With everyone's voice being heard, it is already starting to change how the State of Tennessee deals with their bad design practices that cost you money, time, stress, and embarrassment. With everyone's voice being heard, the voice of the people has already started to change how Ground Water Protection deals with their bad design practices that cost you money, time, stress, devalued house equity, and embarrassment. Take 5 minutes out of your day and find your local State Representative and force Ground Water Protection to take responsibility for their actions.
Find and contact your local State of Tennessee Representative to contact to file your complaint against the incompetence of Ground Water Protection and demand change within the Nashville office.