Protecting your investment... If you own a home in Alaska, chances are that you own a septic system. A septic system is an effective method for treating household wastewater. In addition, it is cost effective and easy to maintain. Well-built systems can last 20 years or more when properly maintained. Septic system failures are a major source of groundwater pollution. Layers of soil act as a natural filter, removing microbes and other particles as water seeps through. Improperly treated water can carry bacteria and viruses that can cause gastroenteritis, fever, common cold, respiratory infections and hepatitis. Septic system maintenance is like automobile maintenance; a little effort on a regular basis can save you a lot of money and significantly prolong the life of the system.