Septic systems are used in Kentucky where municipal sewage treatment is not available. They are an effective, longstanding method of collecting, treating, and disposing of homeowner wastewater, provided they are properly sited, installed, and maintained. However, a well-sited, properly sized and installed system will fail if not properly maintained. A failed septic system creates problems such as noxious odors, lowered property values, surface water contamination, and groundwater pollution and may be a health hazard. Repair and replacement costs are considerable. Additional information on assessing septic system performance and reducing the potential risk of groundwater contamination is available from a KY-A-Syst publication: Household Wastewater Treatment (IP-44). This self-evaluation can be used by the homeowner to determine performance and as additional information for keeping the system maintained.
Thom, William O. and Keefe, Pat, "Maintaining Conventional Septic Systems" (1996). Agriculture and Natural Resources Publications. Paper 12.