The EPA’s SepticSmart program educates homeowners about proper septic system care and maintenance


On Monday, September 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – in conjunction with federal, state and local government and private sector partners – will kick off its fourth annual SepticSmart Week (Sept. 19-23) to encourage American homeowners to properly maintain their septic systems.

“By taking small steps to maintain septic systems, homeowners not only protect our nation’s public health and keep our water clean, but also save money and protect their property values,” said Joel Beauvais, Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.

Here are some of the simple tips from the website that you can share with homeowners:

Related: NAWT: Raise Awareness and Funds to Promote the Use of Onsite Systems

Protect It and Inspect It: Homeowners should generally have their system inspected every three years by a qualified professional or according to their state or local health department's recommendations. Tanks should be pumped when necessary, typically every three to five years.

Think at the Sink: Avoid pouring fats, grease and solids down the drain. These substances can clog a system’s pipes and drainfield.
 

Don’t Overload the Commode: Only put things in the drain or toilet that belong there. For example, coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts and cat litter can all clog and potentially damage septic systems.
 

Related: EPA issues papers on the benefits of septic systems

Don’t Strain Your Drain: Be water efficient and spread out water use. Fix plumbing leaks and install faucet aerators and water-efficient products. Spread out laundry and dishwasher loads throughout the day — too much water at once can overload a system that hasn’t been pumped recently.
 

Shield Your Field: Remind guests not to park or drive on a system’s drainfield, where the vehicle’s weight could damage buried pipes or disrupt underground flow.

The EPA’s SepticSmart program educates homeowners about proper septic system care and maintenance all year long. In addition, it serves as an online resource for industry practitioners, local governments, and community organizations, providing access to tools to educate clients and residents.

Related: U.S. EPA launches septic system program

If you don’t already have some sort of program in place to get information to your customers, the EPA’s SepticSmart Week webpage has a lot of great resources that can get you started. There are homeowner-targeted materials you can download, print and distribute to your customers. There are also press releases and infographics you can use, and suggested social media posts with links to more information that you can use on your own social media pages on each day of the week. (There are also versions of most of this information in Spanish.) There are even some ideas on how to get information out to your community as a whole. Or simply post links to the SepticSmart page on social media. 

For social media posts, use the hashtag #SepticSmartWeek.

For information on SepticSmart Weekvisit www.epa.gov/septicsmart.

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