EPA Provides Tools to City and County Public Health Officials to Improve Septic System Management

Local Education Key to Stopping Pollution from Septic Tanks

Stressing the environmental importance of proper septic tank management to prevent pollution from entering the nation’s rivers, lakes, coasts and groundwater, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing approximately 4,000 city and county public health officials with materials to continue efforts to educate citizens about proper septic system management. Failing and improperly managed septic systems are a significant source of water pollution, potentially causing contamination of drinking water wells or restricting shellfish harvest. Septic systems serve approximately 25 percent of U.S. households, and one in every three new homes built today uses these systems — making proper maintenance essential for protecting America’s waters.

"Public education is the key to improving septic system management. Citizens need to better understand the potential harm improperly managed septic systems can have on the environment and public health and what they can do to help," said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water G. Tracy Mehan, III.

As part of EPA’s year-long celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the Agency has developed a CD-based kit that communities can use to reach out to citizens. Using the CD, communities can inexpensively produce customized versions of brochures, utility bill inserts, and other useful information. Each document contains space where communities can add local information, so citizens will know how to obtain additional information.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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