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Water: Septic (Onsite / Decentralized) Systems

SepticSmart Week


During the first annual SepticSmart Week, September 23-27, 2013, the EPA encouraged homeowners to get SepticSmart and take action. A few small, simple steps of proper care and maintenance of your septic system can lead to a big pay off in terms of keeping you and your neighbors healthy and protecting the environment. For homeowners, proper care can also prevent costly repairs or replacement of systems, protect property values, and save water.

Each Day EPA is reminding homeowners to do the following:

Day 1 - September 23

Protect It and Inspect It!  Homeowners can save more than $10,000 in repair and replacement costs if they have their septic system inspected at an average cost of $200-350 at least every 3-5 years by a septic service professional. Visit [HERE] to learn more and get SepticSmart.

Day 2 - September 24

Think at the sink! Whether you flush down the toilet, grind it in the garbage disposal, or pour it down the sink, shower, or bath...what goes down the drain can have a major impact on how well your septic system works. Visit [HERE] to learn more and get SepticSmart.

Day 3 - September 25

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. Visit [HERE] to learn more and get SepticSmart.

Day 4 - September 26

Don't strain your drain! Efficient use of water and staggering water can not only improve the operation of your septic system but also reduce the risk of failure as well. Visit [HERE] to learn more and get SepticSmart.

Day 5 - September 27

Shield your field! What is placed on or around your drainfield—a component of your septic system that removes contaminants from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank – matters. Visit [HERE] to learn more and get SepticSmart.

The Dos and Don'ts of Your Septic System

SepticSmart Week Flyer 091113Click here to download the "Dos and Don'ts" of your Septic System (1 pg, 1.4MB, About PDF).

SepticSmart Community Highlight

Benton County, Arkansas

Frustrated by the number of malfunctioning septic systems in their County, where homeowners simply could not afford the repairs ($3,000-$5,000) and connecting to the sewer is not an option, the Benton County Health Department set out to find solutions instead of prosecution. In 2009, the Arkansas Department of Health partnered with the local government of Benton County to pursue a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

To help educate homeowners on the importance of regular septic system care and maintenance, the project effectively used EPA's SepticSmart materials. To learn more about the specifics of the project's success, view the archived webcast.

Beaver Lake in Benton County, AR

Beaver Lake in Benton County, AR

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