Drinking Water | Source Protection
Pine Meadow Mutual Water Co. has completed a Drinking Water Source Protection Plan in an effort to protect our community’s public water supply from contamination. The plan reveals that if your property is located within some of the protection zones delineated by the plan, we realize that you may not be aware that you may pose a minimal threat to our water supply. We ask that you exercise caution and keep the following management practices in mind:
Insect Sprays and Weed Killers
Special precautions should be taken when disposing of empty containers. Rinse the container at least three times with water and use the rinse water in the same manner the original product was intended. Then wrap the container securely in plastic and dispose of it in the trash. Unused products should be taken to a solid waste facility.
- Minimize the use of chemical products and use only as directed
- Consider using less toxic alternative products.
- Consider “co-planting” using companion plants that act as natural deterrents to pests.
- Use plant guards, such as paper or tin barriers to deter insects.
- Consider using traps of various kinds to trap pests.
- Hand pick weeds as much as possible or use weed killers in limited spot applications
Please Notify PMMWC in the event of a hazardous chemical leak or spill.
Household Hazardous Waste
The best way to handle household hazardous materials is to completely use the product before disposing of the container. If this is not possible, then the next alternative is to return unused portions to your community household hazardous waste location drop off (Three Mile Canyon). Keep products in their original package with all labels intact. If the container is leaking, place it in a thick plastic bag. Pack the products in plastic-lined cardboard box to prevent leaks and breakage.
- Do not flush household hazardous waste down the toilet.
- Do not pour household hazardous waste down the sink.
- Do not pour household hazardous waste down a drain.
- Do not pour household hazardous waste on the ground.
- Read label precautions and follow directions for safe use.
- Recycle/dispose of empty containers properly.
- Share what you can’t use with friends or neighbors
- Store properly
- Use recommended amounts; more may increase toxicity and be more harmful.
- Use the child-resistant closures and keep them on tightly.
Please Notify PMMWC in the event of a hazardous chemical leak or spill. Anything over 55 gallons or larger please provide a secondary containment.
Please DO NOT use septic cleaners and refer to the Septic Tank/Drainfield Information listed on the website.
If there is a domestic well within the Source Protection Zone PMMWC requests that a backflow device is installed. Also, if a domestic well becomes abandoned please notify PMMWC by mail or email.
Thank you for helping us protect this valuable water resource. By working together, we can ensure that Pine Meadow Mutual Water Co. continues to provide a safe and adequate supply of water to our community for many years to come. If you would like to review our Drinking Water Source Protection Plan, it is available. If you have questions or concerns regarding this letter, please contact Brody Blonquist at 801-641-0111 option 1. Please go to pinemeadowwater.com under the Manager’s Report tab for more information on Cross-Connection and Septic Tank/Drainfield information.
Septic Tank/Drain-Field Fact Sheet
What are the Potential Hazards?
Septic systems can contaminate ground water if they are misused, improperly maintained, or improperly constructed. The major contaminant discharged from septic systems is disease-causing germs. These germs (bacteria and viruses) – can cause many human diseases. Another contaminant discharged from septic systems is nitrogen in the form of nitrate. If the nitrate level of drinking water is too high, infants, up to the age of six months old, can develop a fatal disease called blue baby syndrome (methemoglobinemia). Additionally, if toxic chemicals are disposed in a septic system, they can percolate through the drain-field and into the ground water.
How Does a Septic Tank/Drain-field System Work?
The basic septic system is composed of a septic tank followed by a drain-field. Wastewater flows out of the house and into the septic tank through the building sewer pipe. Once in the septic tank, most solids in the wastewater settle to the bottom of the tank to form a sludge layer. Other solids float and form a scum layer on top of the wastewater. Some decomposition of solid material takes place here, but the primary function of a septic tank is to trap solids and prevent them from entering the drain-field.
Wastewater treatment is restricted to a rather thin zone of unsaturated soil underlying the drain-field. Many of the harmful bacteria and microbes are filtered out as the wastewater passes through this soil. Some of the smaller microbes (viruses) and nutrients such as phosphorus and some forms of nitrogen are trapped and held (adsorbed) by soil particles. Once the effluent reaches the groundwater table, little treatment occurs. Soils can differ markedly in their pollutant removal efficiency. The ability to which soil can remove pollutants in the wastewater determines how many impurities will eventually reach the groundwater beneath the drain field.
What are the Site Evaluation and Construction Requirements?
Current rules require a comprehensive evaluation of the soil and ground water before a septic system can be permitted for construction in a specified location. This evaluation must be reviewed and approved by the local health department. The rules require that the bottom of the drain-field trenches be placed at least 12 inches (preferably 24 inches) above the water table. Additionally, there must be adequate amounts of unsaturated soil beneath the trenches to allow sufficient treatment of the wastewater.
How do you Determine Site Consideration for a Septic System?
Trees and deep-rooted shrubs should be as far away from the system as possible.
Keep the water that runs off of foundation drains, gutters, driveways, and other paved areas away from the drain-field of your septic system.
Keep the soil over the drain-field covered with grass to prevent soil erosion.
Don’t drive vehicles over the system.
Don’t cover the tank or drain-field with concrete or asphalt and don’t build over these areas.
What are Do’s and Don’ts of Proper Disposal Practices?
Use only a moderate amount of cleaning products and do not pour solvents or other household hazardous waste down the drains.
Garbage disposals should not be used because they tend to overload the system with solids. If you have one, you should severely limit its use.
Do not pour grease or cooking oil down the sink.
Do not put items down the drain that may clog the septic tank or other parts of the system. These items include cigarette butts, sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms, disposable diapers, paper towels, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
What is Water Conservation?
There are limits to the amount of wastewater a septic system can treat. If you overload the system, wastewater may backup into your home or surface over your drain-field. Using too much water can lead to problems occurring periodically throughout the year or seasonally. For example, the soil beneath your drain-field is wetter in the spring than it is in the summer and its capacity to percolate wastewater is somewhat diminished. If you wash all your laundry in one day, you may have a temporary problem caused by overloading the soil’s capacity to percolate wastewater for that day. To reduce the risk of using too much water, try the following:
Use 1.6 gallons (or less) per flush toilet. You may need to use an environmentally safe method to displace water in the tank by placing a sealed, filled quart jar in the tank to reduce water usage.
- Fix leaking toilets and faucets immediately.
- Use faucet aerators at sinks and flow reducing nozzles at showers.
- Limit the length of your shower to 10 minutes or less.
- Do not fill the bathtub with more than 6 inches of water.
- Do not wash more than one or two loads of laundry per day.
- Do not use the dishwasher until it is full.
How do you Clean a Septic Tank?
It is recommended that the solids that collect in your septic tank be pumped out and disposed at an approved location every three to five years. If not removed, these solids will eventually be discharged from the septic tank into the drain-field and will clog the soil in the absorption trenches. If the absorption trenches are clogged, sewage will either back up into the house or surface over the drain-field. If this happens, pumping the tank will not solve the problem and a new drain field will probably need to be constructed on a different part of the lot.
Thank you everyone for all the conservation efforts to keep our mountain resources available and safe.