Watershed Management Section

Jaime Gaggero, Section Chief
PHONE: (785) 296-4195; FAX: (785) 296-5509

1000 SW Jackson St, Ste 420 
Topeka, KS 66612-1367


SepticSmart Week: September 22-26, 2014

SepticSmart Week

From September 22-26, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will launch the annual SepticSmart Week promoting education on septic systems and encourage homeowner’s to take action for proper care and maintenance. One-quarter of U.S. homes rely on septic systems for wastewater treatment. If not kept in proper functioning order, failing septic systems can cause public health issues as well as impair valuable water resources. During SepticSmart Week, proper septic system care and maintenance will be promoted by educating homeowners on septic system needs and system use. Properly maintained septic can spare homeowners of costly repairs and replacements, protect property values, and protect health and the environment. Homeowners will be encouraged to follow SepticSmart tips such as:

  • Protect It and Inspect It: In general, homeowners should have their system inspected every three years by a licensed contractor and have their tank pumped when necessary, generally every three to five years.

  • Think at the Sink: Avoid pouring fats, grease, and solids down the drain, which can clog a system’s pipes and drainfield.

  • Don’t Overload the Commode: Ask guests to only to put things in the drain or toilet that belong there. For example, coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, and cat litter can all clog and potentially damage septic systems.

  • Don’t Strain Your Drain: Be water efficient and spread out water use. Consider fixing plumbing leaks and installing faucet aerators and water-efficient products, and spread out laundry and dishwasher loads throughout the day. Too much water at once can overload a system if the septic tank has not been pumped recently.

  • Shield Your Field: Remind guests not to park or drive on a system’s drainfield, where the vehicle’s weight could damage buried pipes or disrupt underground flow.

If you have a septic system or know someone who does, share the SepticSmart tips and help keep our communities and environment healthy. More information on SepticSmart Week and the EPA SepticSmart program can be found at www.epa.gov/septicsmart or contact the Watershed Management Section at 785.296.3015.


Purpose of the Section

The Watershed Management Section implements Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, coordinating programs designed to eliminate or minimize pollution that does not come from the end of a pipe. The section develops and reviews strategies, management plans, local environmental protection plans, and county environmental codes intended to control nonpoint source pollution.



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