Do your part and be SepticSmart!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sept. 16, 2021 
EGLE Media Office, EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov, 517-284-9278

Dale Ladouceur, Environmental Quality Specialist, LadouceurD@Michigan.gov, 517-242-4010

Governor Whitmer declares September 20-24 as SepticSmart Week

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed September 20-24, 2021, as SepticSmart Week.  On Monday, September 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) - in conjunction with federal, state, and local governments, and private sector partners - will kick off its ninth annual SepticSmart Week to encourage homeowners and communities to properly care for and maintain their septic systems EPA.gov/Septic.

More than 1.3 million homes and businesses in Michigan depend on septic systems to treat wastewater. If not maintained, failing septic systems can contaminate water resources and harm the environment by releasing bacteria, viruses, household chemicals and other pollutants to local waterways. Proper septic system maintenance protects public health, the environment, and saves the homeowner money by limiting costly repairs.

Simple tips for homeowners:

  • 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. Regular septic system maintenance can save homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs and protect public health.
  • Think at the Sink: What goes down the drain has a big impact on your septic system. Fats, grease, and solids can clog a system's pipes and drainfield.
  • Don't Overload the Commode: A toilet is not a trash can. Disposable diapers and wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, condoms, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, and cat litter can damage a septic system.
  • Don't Strain Your Drain: Use water efficiently and stagger use of water-based appliances. Too much water use at once can overload a system that has not been pumped recently. Fix plumbing leaks and install faucet aerators and water-efficient products.
  • Shield Your Field: Tree and shrub roots, cars, and livestock can damage your septic drainfield.
  • Pump your Tank: Ensure your septic tank is pumped at regular intervals as recommended by a professional and/or local permitting authority.
  • Keep It Clean!: Contamination can occur when a septic system leaks due to improper maintenance. Be sure your drinking water is safe to drink by testing it regularly.The U.S. 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.For information on Septic Systems, SepticSmart Week, or tips on how to properly maintain your septic system, visit Michigan.gov/EGLEOnsiteWastewater or the EGLE SepticSmart website at: EGLEOnsiteWastewater/SepticSmart.

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