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SepticSmart Week puts focus on 1.3 million septic systems in Michigan

SepticSmart sealEvery year, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) joins with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others to promote SepticSmart Week, a time that focuses on educating homeowners and communities on the proper care and maintenance of their septic systems.

Over 1.3 septic systems in Michigan treat wastewater from homes and businesses.

Onsite septic systems provide a cost-effective, long-term method for treating wastewater, particularly in sparsely populated areas.  When properly designed, installed, operated, and maintained, these systems help protect public health, preserve valuable water resources, and maintain a community's economic vitality.

The SepticSmart public education effort offers educational resources to homeowners, local organizations, and government leaders to explain how septic systems work and provide tips on how to properly maintain them. 

Helpful SepticSmart tips include:

  • Having your septic tank inspected every three years and pumped, when necessary, typically every three to five years.
  • Limiting kitchen sink garbage grinder use and avoid pouring harsh products (e.g., oils, grease, chemicals, paint, and medications) down the drain.
  • Not flushing anything besides human waste and toilet paper.  Never flush products like baby wipes or other wet wipes, cat litter, cooking oil or grease, condoms, feminine hygiene products, and cigarette butts.
  • Keeping cars and other vehicles parked away from the septic tank and drainfield.
  • Keeping roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainwater drainage systems away from your septic tank and drainfield area.
  • Repairing plumbing leaks and using water efficient fixtures to avoid overloading the system.
  • Spreading laundry washing throughout the week.

More information is available on the EGLE SepticSmart website and the U.S. EPA website.

Photo caption: SepticSmart seal.

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