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An on-site system designed to treat and dispose of domestic sewage from a residence or business not connected to a sewer line. A typical septic system consists of a tank that receives waste and holds it while bacteria decompose solids, and a system of tile lines or a pit for disposal of the liquid effluent. The sludge that remains in the tank after decomposition of the solids must be pumped out periodically. By using the assimilative capacity of the land, a properly operating septic system has minimal impact, but an improperly functioning system can be a source of nitrogen pollution and of groundwater contamination.

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