Learn About and Maintain Your Septic System

September 18 - 23 is Septic Smart Week in Vermont

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in conjunction with the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be promoting Septic Smart Week and will encourage homeowners and communities to learn more about and properly maintain their septic systems. Governor Scott signed a formal proclamation to declare September 18-22 Septic-Smart Week in Vermont.   

“I’ve heard people say, ‘I’ve never had my septic system pumped or checked and it works just fine,’ said Steven Pro, owner of SepticPro. “To me, that is as absurd as someone saying that they’ve never had the oil in their car changed and it runs just fine.  Just because it hasn’t died yet, doesn’t mean it won’t or that you haven’t caused irreparable damage. Neglecting or abusing your system, not pumping your tank, failing to notice a broken or loose baffle, or simply using a garbage disposal can have extremely negative effects. Unfortunately, many people only learn about issues when it’s too late and their system has failed. Others discover they have a problem when they are in the process of selling their home.”    

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 55% of Vermont households rely on private septic systems.  During SepticSmart Week, DEC will be sharing tips and information about septic systems care and maintenance via the Agency of Natural Resources’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/VTANR) and Twitter account (@VTANR).

To learn more about septic systems, Vermonters are encouraged to attend the SepticSmart Workshop September 23, 2017. Participants will learn about different types of systems, how to care for a system and about Vermont and New Hampshire permits and regulations.  The workshop is sponsored by the Mt. Ascutney Subcommittee of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions.  For more information contact Kelly k.stettner101@gmail.com or (802) 738-0456.

“As a Vermont homeowner of a recently installed septic system, I understand the importance of properly maintaining my septic system and protecting my drinking water,” said Emily Boedecker, DEC Commissioner. “Vermont has one of the highest percentages of homes on septic systems in any state. Taking care of your septic system not only protects the value of your home or business, it is also another way that we can be good stewards of the environment, and protect our groundwater resources for all Vermonters”.

Another way for lake and camp associations to be Septic Smart is to organize or attend a “Septic Social” which helps participants learn about different types of systems and how they work, protection and maintenance tips, and signs of a failing system. “Septic Socials have been well received” according to Mary Clark, DEC Environmental Analyst.  “It is encouraging to hear that that participants of past events are considering upgrading older septic systems after learning how a system can contaminate the water they may drink, swim or recreate in.” Find out how to host an event at http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/lakes-ponds/lakeshores-lake-wise/lake-wise-septic-system-socials.

For more information or to read Governor Scott’s proclamation declaring September 18- 22 Septic-Smart week, go to http://dec.vermont.gov/water/whatsnew.  To learn more about how your septic system works and simple everyday tips on how to properly maintain a septic system, visit www.epa.gov/septicsmart.