EPA launches fourth annual SepticSmart Week
“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,” EPA Office of Water Deputy Assistant Administrator Joel Beauvais said.
Approximately one in five households in the United States rely on septic systems to treat wastewater, but improper maintenance of those systems can lead to expensive repairs and significant environmental impacts in the form of contaminated groundwater. The EPA developed its SepticSmart program to help homeowners better understand septic system care and maintenance, and it now serves as a resources for local governments, communities and industry stakeholders looking to educate their residents and clients.
Some basic maintenance steps homeowners can follow include having their systems inspected every three years and pumped as necessary, typically every three to five years, as well as ensuring things like fats, grease, solids, coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products and cat litter are not flushed through drains and toilets. Homeowners should also be efficient with their water use and spread heavy consumption activities throughout the day, as well as prevent people from parking or driving over the system’s drainfield.