News Releases

September 23, 2014

Governor Shumlin Declares September 22 – 26 Septic-Smart Week in Vermont

Governor Shumlin has signed a formal proclamation to declare this week (Sept. 22-26) Septic-Smart Week in Vermont. In conjunction with the U.S. EPA, Vermont officials are celebrating Septic-Smart Week by encouraging homeowners to learn about, and properly maintain, their septic systems.

Over half the households in Vermont rely on private septic systems to treat and dispose of their domestic waste. Homeowners are responsible for making sure that these systems work properly. The life-span of a septic system is generally 25 years, but septic systems are vulnerable to early failure if they are not regularly inspected and pumped, and properly maintained.

Waste from improperly functioning or failed septic systems can contaminate ground water supplies with E. coli and other pollutants. This is especially relevant since many of the homeowners who rely on septic systems also have on-site wells which provide potable drinking water. Discharges from failed systems can also contaminate surface waters such as lakes, rivers and ponds, contributing excess nutrients that cause sometimes toxic algal blooms and other water quality problems.

“Governor Shumlin’s willingness to highlight Septic-Smart Week is a testament to the importance of septic maintenance to public health and water quality in our state,” according to Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation Commissioner David Mears. “In a rural state like Vermont, the opportunity to celebrate Septic-Smart Week offers a practical reminder that water quality is everyone’s responsibility.”

During SepticSmart Week, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources will be sharing tips and information about septic systems care and maintenance on its Facebook page (www.facebook/vtanr) and Twitter account (@VTANR). They will also be accepting septic system care and maintenance questions from the public all week at A selection of these questions will be answered publicly in the October issue of Ripples, the newsletter of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

To view an online copy of Governor Shumlin’s proclamation, please visit .

To learn more about Septic-Smart Week, and how you can take action to protect the quality of Vermont’s water resources, visit

Contact: Ernie Christianson, 802-585-4884,

Source: Department of Environmental Conservation
Last Updated at: September 23, 2014 14:52:51