Septic Health Initiative / Water Quality
Approximately 80% of the properties in Nags Head use an on-site sewage system also referred to as a septic system. There is no mandatory requirement to maintain or repair these systems after they are installed. These systems can naturally fail due to age, overuse through high occupancy, or improper use. They have to be maintained in order to function properly and extend the life of the system.
What is the Septic Health Initiative?
The Septic Health Initiative is a voluntary program, initiated in 2000, available to property owners. The program offers free services and financial assistance for having systems pumped out, repaired, or replaced.
Free services from town staff include: locating your system, discussing concerns about installation and maintenance, inspections to detect problems early, and a follow-up report that outlines your system location and whether it is in need of pumping or repair.
If our free inspection finds that your system needs pumping or repair, our staff can act as a mediator between the property owner and contractor. We can assist with necessary permitting and offer financial assistance. Property owners can receive a $30 credit on their water account for pumping their system and the town offers low-interest loans for those who need to make repairs.
We wish to honor the tireless work, dedication, and memory of Todd Krafft, Environmental Planner, for his efforts in establishing and sustaining the Septic Health Initiative, and 20 years of service to the Town of Nags Head.
The town offers free septic inspections. This free service includes locating your system and determining if the tank needs pumping. Staff will discuss any concerns about maintenance and provide a follow-up report outlining suggested next steps.
Why should I have my system inspected?
It's cheaper to maintain a system than pay for a new system. Maintaining a system extends the life of the system. Pumping your system costs approximately $300 while repairs and replacements cost thousands. Inspections are encouraged especially if your home has high occupancy or is a rental.
Why should I have my tank pumped?
Everything that goes down your drain eventually flows into the on the site sewage system. Although bacteria in the tank breaks down solids, there are other solids like dirt or sand that can form a sludge layer in the bottom of the tank. Over time, grease and other solids build up and migrate into the drainfield. If the drainfield becomes clogged, the system fails and a new drainfield is needed.
The average life of a septic system is twenty-two years. However, some systems have minor problems or prematurely fail. The town offers low-interest loans for repairs and replacement. The loan rate is the prime rate minus 2.5% (non-compounding) and can be paid back over a thirty-six month period. The maximum loan amount is $7,500.
To begin the loan process, contact Michael Zehner.