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In the nearly eight years since I have been the lead On-Site Septic system inspector here in Kittitas County, I have witnessed a great many interesting things when it comes to septic systems and especially tanks or what someone’s idea of a tank may have been.

Historically, prior to any state regulations, pioneers and homesteaders were very creative in their techniques of getting rid of human waste. Of course, this story begins with privies (outhouses) and eventually plumbing and sewers that generally discharged directly into surface water, a technique which proved to be sub-standard, as history has shown. This type of primary waste treatment led to disease and many other health issues related to poor water quality. Many third world countries, unfortunately, still don’t have running water or proper sanitation, leading to epidemics such as cholera, E. coli and giardia.

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