Help Michigan Celebrate SepticSmart Week

Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

September 17, 2018

Contact:
Kristine Rendon, MDEQ contact, rendonk@michigan.gov, 517-331-5086
Tiffany Brown, MDEQ Public Information Officer, brownt22@michigan.gov, 517-284-6716

Governor Snyder declares September 17-21 SepticSmart Week

LANSING, Mich.  Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed September 17-21, 2018, as SepticSmart Week in Michigan.  This initiative is a nationwide public education effort in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), supported by state and local governments, the private sector and academia.  This annual effort focuses on educating homeowners on proper care and maintenance of their septic systems.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) developed a MDEQ minute educational video to help explain and create awareness on the importance of proper care of septic systems.    

Some simple tips include:

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. 

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, as using 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. 

Pump your Tank: Routinely pumping your tank can prevent your septic system from premature failure, which can lead to groundwater contamination. 

Test Your Drinking Water Well: If septic systems aren’t properly maintained, leaks can contaminate well water. Testing your drinking water well is the best way to ensure your well water is free from contaminates.

The SepticSmart public education campaign offers educational resources to explain how septic systems work and provide tips on how to properly maintain them. Organizations and individuals wishing to promote SepticSmart Week 2018 are encouraged to create public awareness about the event and share the aforementioned helpful tips. Visit the MDEQ website at www.michigan.gov/deqsepticsmart or the EPA website at www.epa.gov/septic for an abundance of resources and information.

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