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(an initiative of the U.S. EPA)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website contains detailed information about septic systems, including technical informationfact sheets and webcasts

Septic systems treat and dispose of small volumes of wastewater from houses and businesses in areas not served by public sewer systems.  Usual sources of wastewater are toilets, showers and laundry.  Other names for septic systems are:

  • onsite wastewater treatment systems
  • decentralized wastewater treatment systems
  • cluster systems
  • package plants
  • on-lot systems
  • individual sewage disposal systems
  • private sewage systems

Public, environmental and economic benefits are among the identified results of using septic systems and the proper uses of such systems reduces the risk of disease, removes pollution from surface water, recharges groundwater, and reduces large infrastructure and energy costs to collect and treat wastewater.

The EPA's SepticSmart Homeowners page contains information on how septic systems work and how to properly maintain septic systems.  Topics include:

How Your Septic System Works

Why Maintain Your Septic System

How To Care For Your Septic System

Graphic Diagram Guide - Caring For Your Septic System

What To Do If Your Septic System Fails


Homeowner Resources