Septic-Smart Week Homeowner and Community Educational Activities and Outreach

MONTPELIER – The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division staff educate septic system owners about proper septic system care and maintenance all year long. During EPA’s annual Septic-Smart week on September 21- 25, additional public outreach activities are planned. 

“Septic Socials” on camp properties are sponsored by Lake and Watershed Associations and allow participants to learn about:
• how systems work, treat wastewater, and can impact groundwater and surface water quality;
• what are the different types of leachfields and Innovative/Alternative systems;
• what are the do’s and don’ts of onsite wastewater (septic) system use;
• What are the signs of a failing system and what are the steps in getting a permit.

“Septic Socials have been have been well received,” according to Mary Clark – DEC Staff Hydrogeologist.   “It is encouraging to hear that participants of past events are considering upgrading older systems after learning how a system can contaminate the water they may drink, swim and recreate in.”

On September 26, 2015 the State of Vermont Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division staff will participate in a Septic System Workshop sponsored by the Connecticut River Joint Commissions. The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the River Valley Tech Center in Springfield, Vermont from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon.  For more information contact Tara (603)444-6303 ext. 26.

On October 15, 2015 – The VT Works for Women is having their annual Women Can Do Workshop at VTC for high school girls.   ANR staff will be assisting with the workshop at the VTC campus.  An area on Lake Carmi will be used to discuss site and septic design, water quality sampling, and wetlands delineation http://vtworksforwomen.org/womencando/

Town Clerks and Town Officials are often the first place homeowners’ visit when looking for information on wastewater systems.  In recognition of the important role that town officials play in disseminating information to residents, during Septic-Smart Week –September 21-25, the Environmental Assistant Office will be sending pre-paid postcards that Towns can use to order informational material.  Brochures and fact sheets that are available that pertain to wastewater systems include:

• Do Your Part - Be Septic-Smart: Overview of how septic systems work and how to maintain them to keep them working properly
• On-site Loan Program: Fact sheet about this loan program for homeowners that can provide low-cost financing for the repair or replacement of failed septic and/or water supply systems.
• Do you need a State permit?  Ask a Permit Specialist: Overview of the services of the Permit Assistance Specialists

During Septic-Smart Week, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources will be sharing tips and information about septic systems care and maintenance on its Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/VTANR ) and Twitter account (@VTANR).

Governor Shumlin’s proclamation declaring September 21-25 Septic-Smart week, is posted on the ANR Regional Office Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Program Public Education and Outreach web page. http://drinkingwater.vermont.gov/poregionaloutreach.htm

To learn more about Septic-Smart Week, about how your septic system works and simple everyday tips on how to properly maintain a septic system, visit www.epa.gov/septicsmart.