Printer Friendly

EPA to homeowners: be SepticSmart.

Homeowners and communities are being encouraged to care for and maintain their septic systems by the Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. Nearly one-quarter of all U.S. households have septic systems to treat their wastewater.

Failure to maintain septic system can lead to back-ups and overflows that pollute local waterways, create dead zones, raise water treatment costs, and endanger human health. Pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorus and fecal bacteria can enter ground and surface waters from septic systems and affect drinking water, lakes, rivers, and estuaries. The algal blooms they may generate can produce toxins harmful to human, animal, and marine life.

Data collected by states attribute septic systems and other onsite wastewater treatment methods to water quality impairments in 22,909 miles of rivers and streams; 199,995 acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds; and 72,320 acres of wetlands.

"When homeowners protect their septic systems, it's good for their health, their neighbors' health, and their pocketbooks," maintains Ken Kopocis, deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Water. "Not only is the EPA directly educating homeowners on septic maintenance, but we are also coordinating with states and municipalities to do the same."

Tips for septic maintenance from the EPA's SepticSmart program include protect it and inspect it; think at the sink; don't overload the commode; and shield your field.

COPYRIGHT 2014 Society for the Advancement of Education
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Water Pollution; Environmental Protection Agency
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2014
Previous Article:How will wind farms affect marine life?
Next Article:Be prepared instead of quaking in your boots.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters