Celebrate SepticSmart Week with the University of Minnesota Onsite Sewage Treatment Program

September 05, 2023

St. Paul, MN – The University of Minnesota Onsite Sewage Treatment Program will offer two free training opportunities on ‘Being Septic Smart’ in September to celebrate SepticSmart Week (September 18-22, 2023).

An in-person event will be held on Friday, September 15 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota. This event will be an informative session on septic system maintenance and usage and is being hosted by Crow Wing Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD).

An online webinar will be held on Tuesday, September 19, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The ‘Being Septic Smart’ webinar teaches property owners the basics about how their septic systems work. This webinar is co-sponsored by the Otter Tail County Land and Resource Department.

Researcher and instructor Sara Heger of the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program at the University of Minnesota’s Water Resource Center will host these events. Heger says, ”Attendees will leave this webinar learning something new about their septic system, and how to properly use and maintain it to extend the lifetime of their system.”

Septic systems are designed to last 20-30 years but can last longer depending on use, care, and maintenance. Being Septic Smart provides information that enables property owners to maximize their septic investment so their system can function during and beyond its design lifetime, with information that includes:

  • How a septic system works
  • The purpose of the tank and drain field or mound
  • The importance of clean water’s role played by the soil underneath the soil treatment system
  • How often the tank should be pumped
  • Whether additives are a good idea
  • How to prevent winter freeze-ups, and much more

While the ‘Being Septic Smart’ activities are free; participants are asked to register:

The Onsite Sewage Treatment Program provides education and technical assistance to homeowners, small communities, onsite professionals, and local units of government regarding onsite wastewater treatment. The Water Resources Center is a unit of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences and the University of Minnesota Extension.

SepticSmart Week is an annual event that occurs the third week of September. Communities, local groups, and state governments can bring attention to the importance of caring for and maintaining septic systems by organizing homeowner education events, sponsoring workshops, or sharing social media from the SepticSmart program.