Sewage Nuisance Abatement and Remedition Plan

The Sewage Nuisance Abatement and Remediation Plan (SNARP) is a program that allows homeowners and Public Health Sanitarians to develop a plan that will eliminate a sewage nuisance due to a failing septic system. The SNARP program provides homeowners with an opportunity to gradually make improvements to their system and possibly avoid or delay a full replacement of the septic system.

The goal of the SNARP program is to effectively correct sewage nuisance problems at the lowest possible cost. Once the application is made a member of the staff will come to your property and evaluate your system. After the evaluation, you will be contacted and all the possible options will be presented to you. It is up to you to decide what plan you will follow. After the plan is agreed upon you will be asked to sign off on that plan and a copy will be placed in your basic system assessment file for later reference if needed. You will be provided a copy of the plan to give to registered installers so they can bid on the work to be conducted. Your chosen installer will come to the health district and obtain the permit to install prior to conducting the repairs. The repairs will be inspected and once approved your system will not be assessed again until its next normally scheduled basic system assessment. Listed below is some general information to help you understand the plan development better.

SNARP Program Basics:

Planning for Phase One: Phase One of a plan includes the following steps:

  1. Replace existing tank(s) with new, or modify the existing tank(s) so that infiltration of ground or surface water is not going to affect the system.
  2. A commitment to conserve water and to look for and eliminate sources of extra water that may be going to the system.
  3. At least one additional step to get the sewage below the surface of the ground, unless conditions indicate that more than one additional step may be necessary.
  4. The choice of a final system for the site. The final system choice may be changed later, under the conditions that space is available and the soil is suitable.

Tanks: A tank is expected to provide 40% of the treatment of wastewater. Surface and ground water leaking into a tank create two problems: in-tank treatment is upset and the entire system is overloaded. The condition of a tank cannot be ignored in a plan. A tank may be sealed, if it is in reasonably good condition, to make it as water-tight as possible. Risers are added to the tank to allow easy access for maintenance and work in future phases if needed. Tanks that are in poor condition will need to be replaced.

Water Conservation: The goal of the plan is to keep sewage below the surface of the ground. The less water used, the better the chance for the plan to succeed. Don’t use more water than necessary, particularly in the wet seasons of the year. “Hidden” sources of extra water can upset and overload the system. Any extra water needs to be eliminated to improve the chances for a plan to succeed. In short, the system must process as little water, as possible, from normal activities in the home, and no more.

Keeping Sewage Below Ground: Step Five of Phase One requires much thought and consideration. The Frequently Asked Questions below contain information that should be considered. A sanitarian can explain the different options available for this step. Cost information will come from a contractor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Basic System Assessment Program?
Adequate on-site sewage treatment is a major part of the Health District’s overall effort to maintain and improve public health in our community. The Basic System Assessment Program is a survey of septic systems that is conducted in all of the townships in the county. BSAs are done in keeping with the Health District’s mission, which is to protect and improve the health of all Clermont County residents. If your property was inspected as part of the BSA Program and a sewage nuisance was identified as part of that assessment, this information describes a program that will provide you with options on how to eliminate that nuisance condition.

What is a homeowner’s responsibility regarding sewage treatment?
Adequate treatment of household sewage is one of the responsibilities that come with home ownership. It is assumed that a sewage treatment system is working properly to treat wastewater until there is evidence to the contrary. If a sewage nuisance is identified, then it is the homeowner’s responsibility to eliminate the sewage nuisance. A sewage treatment system is expected to operate properly by preventing sewage nuisances from occurring throughout the year and during any weather conditions.

What is the preferred method of eliminating a sewage nuisance?
The Health District recommends that a homeowner installs a replacement system before the end of the next construction season. This is the most expedient way to eliminate a sewage nuisance condition and, at the same time, bring a home’s sewage treatment system up to current standards. If that is not possible, then read on.

How can homeowners fulfill their responsibility within this program?
Timely system replacement may be the most expedient way to resolve a sewage nuisance, but it may not always be possible. In those cases, this program allows a homeowner to develop a plan around their present system and avoid a full replacement, as long as the plan eliminates the sewage nuisance. In short, the program allows for more flexibility in planning and provides an opportunity to manage costs.

What is this program called?
The program is called the Sewage Nuisance Abatement and Remediation Plan, or SNARP, program.

How does a homeowner get started with a SNARP?
The homeowner makes an application to the health district for remediation. After the application is completed, a sanitarian works with the homeowner to develop a plan that fits their particular situation.

What about costs?
The remediation application is covered by a one-time four hundred dollar ($400.00) fee. The cost of phase one, and subsequent phases if needed will depend on the site and the condition of the existing system. The key to controlling cost is to eliminate the nuisance early in the plan.

How is a SNARP organized?
A SNARP is made of activities called steps taken to improve system performance. The steps are organized into phases. There are two to four phases in a plan, depending on the circumstances. The plan progresses through the phases until the sewage nuisance is under control and eliminated. A SNARP need progress no further if the nuisance is eliminated. A SNARP also includes a final system, which is the replacement system for the site. Phases and steps within them are organized, as much as possible, to progress toward the final system.

How can this plan be useful?
A SNARP provides a framework for decision making. Within the plan, you will learn today’s cost of a replacement, referred to as the final system. You will also learn the about the cost of steps in the phases. You can weigh the options, and make a decision based on your finances, the site and condition of the system and the water budget, the daily in-house volume, that you can live within.

What else can the plan do?
A SNARP allows a homeowner to exercise more control over their situation. A homeowner can minimize or postpone the expense of the replacement system as long as they can live within the treatment capacity of their system. If the opportunity arises to sell, there is a plan in place to meet the requirements of the buyers. The plan can be modified if more economical systems become available.