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News Releases from Region 07

EPA Designates September 21-25 as SepticSmart Week

Contact Information: 
Chris Whitley (whitley.christopher@epa.gov)

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., Sept. 21, 2015) - EPA has designated Sept. 21-25, 2015, as SepticSmart Week. In recognition of this event, EPA and its state, local and industry partners are working around the country to help raise awareness about the need for proper care and maintenance of septic systems and to encourage homeowners to do their part.

By taking small steps to care for and maintain their septic systems, homeowners will not only be helping to protect public health and the environment, they can also save money and protect property values.

Approximately 20 percent of American households and 33 percent of new construction (both domestic and commercial) are served by septic wastewater systems or other types of onsite wastewater systems. Today's septic systems and onsite wastewater systems feature advanced technologies enabling them to achieve the same level of wastewater treatment provided by the traditional sewer systems.

Septic systems can be designed as "cluster systems," enabling them to treat large volumes of wastewater from multiple homes, apartment complexes, or businesses. Because treated effluent from septic systems is reused and recharges the local underground aquifer, they are regarded as "Green Infrastructure."

As the nation's population continues to grow and cash-strapped rural and small communities look for viable, low-cost and effective methods of wastewater treatment, septic systems will continue to play a critical role in our nation's wastewater infrastructure.

For septic systems to effectively treat wastewater to levels that provide adequate protection to public health and valuable water resources, proper system care and maintenance is vital. When homeowners "flush and forget" about their septic systems, it can lead to system back-ups and overflows, which can result in costly repairs, pollution of local waterways, and added risks to public health and the environment.

State and local governments, industry professionals, environmental groups and others are urged to use a free online toolkit of EPA resources to promote the proper care and maintenance of septic systems.

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