Septic Systems

More than 1 in 5 households in the U.S. utilize septic systems to treat their waste water? In Bella Vista, about 75% of existing homes have septic systems.

septic photoSeptic systems are different than sewer in that they are usually an onsite specific wastewater treatment servicing one home. They usually contain underground wastewater treatment structures (such as a septic tank and leach field) that use a combination of natural and technological processes to treat wastewater from household plumbing produced by bathrooms, showers, kitchen drains, and laundry. Solids typically will settle in the septic tank while the wastewater will exit via the leach lines and be treated in the soil through the leach field.

Find more specific information on the function of septic systems here:

Septic systems are designed based on the occupancy limit of your home, which determines the amount of use that system should get. Before any building perm
it can be approved for new homes, the builder must first provide a septic permit from the Arkansas Department of Health. This information will show a system designed by a licensed professional, indicate where the system will be located on the lot, and the occupancy limit for that septic tank. 

Knowing where your system - which includes a tank and leach lines spread throughout your yard - is located on your lot is vital in order to avoid damaging the tank or the field. Knowing the total occupancy the system is suited for is also important, as overuse can quickly damage the system and result in extensive and expensive repairs. In some cases, replacement options may not be available at all, thus leaving your home without wastewater treatment.

Did you know? Bella Vista makes up 5.2% of Benton County land wise yet has approximately 58% of permitted septic systems in the County.
BV vs. Benton County Septic - Copy




Properties used as rental homes are at risk of taxing the home's septic system above its designed capabilities. The EPA provides materials that can be used to educate guests in your home that the property is on septic and about proper usage of the system,  including what NOT to put down the drain. Find more information and printable materials here: 


A free education event was held Thursday, Sept. 21 at Bella Vista District Court. Speakers included:
• Jane Maginot — University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Stormwater Educator
• Richard Murphree — Arkansas Department of Health’s Environmental Manager for the Northwest Region
• Piper Satterfield — Licensed Septic System Design Specialist for BBB Septic
• Chris Fuller — Bella Vista POA Lake Ecology and Water Quality Manager
• Taylor Robertson - Planning Manager for the City of Bella Vista


Presentations available from the 2022 education event: 
Arkansas Department of Health  presented by Richard Murphree
POA Water Quality Lab presented by Chris Fuller
County Extension Office for Stormwater presented by Brad Hufhines
H20zarks presented by Shelly Smith