3 items to know about your STEP system, from CUD’s Joe Fisher

“Without wastewater treatment and disposal, even a million-dollar home would nosedive in value.”

A strong statement from CUD Wastewater Supervisor Joe Fisher – especially given the amount of residential development currently happening in Rutherford County.

“If a property is going to stay viable and maintain or grow its value, the STEP field must be maintained,” Fisher added. “Rutherford County is basically one big limestone rock, so water doesn’t drain easily. You wouldn’t want to build a home on a floodplain, but we can place a STEP field there. In fact, CUD can use what’s considered unusable property to place a STEP field. A lot of homes and subdivisions wouldn’t exist without STEP fields.”

Part of CUD’s work as a water utility involves maintaining the underground lines and services that power everyday life in homes and neighborhoods throughout the county. With that in mind, CUD sent a flyer in September 2019 about STEP field maintenance to every home in the county that relies on a STEP system.

Among the key messages from that flyer …

  1. It’s critical to the value of your home and your neighbors’ homes that your STEP field be kept clear and undisturbed.
    • CUD encourages homeowners to keep the fields open and undamaged because the soil plays a vital role in wastewater absorption.
    • Threats to STEP fields include items dumped onto the space itself. Inside your home, there are certain items you should avoid flushing as they can damage your septic tank. These include plastics and rubber items, chemicals, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, and paper items other than bath tissue.
  1. If your STEP system alarm sounds, call CUD.
    • You can reach CUD by calling 615-893-7225 if the alarm activates (it will sound like a smoke alarm). The alarm can be silenced by pushing the light directly above the “PUSH TO SILENCE” label on the front of the control panel or the silence toggle switch on the left side of the control panel.
    • If your STEP system needs service after normal business hours, CUD has on-call technicians who will visit your STEP field and access the control room to diagnose and address the issue.
  1. If any problem with your STEP system occurs, call CUD first.
    • CUD is responsible for maintenance of the system. Customers will sometimes call a plumber only to learn that the tank needs pumping, as professional service is useful, but finding a decent plumber can be difficult. Be sure to check online reviews before deciding to work with a company.