Virtual home septic system maintenance clinic will be on May 2

A man tests a sewage system at home with a long pole. Participants in the free virtual home septic system clinic on May 2 will learn how to properly and safely maintain their home septic systems. (Texas A&M AgriLife)

A free training session on safe and proper maintenance of home septic systems will be held virtually on May 2 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The course is offered through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership and is delivered via the Microsoft Teams platform.

No software download is required to participate. People can register at https://tx.ag/LampasasRiverSepticClinic. A link with information and instructions on how to participate will be emailed after registration.

Funding and support for the Lampasas Watershed Protection Plan comes from Clean Water Act nonpoint source grants from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Home septic systems, also called on-site sewage systems or OSSFs, are used to treat wastewater before it is distributed on the property and are typically found in rural areas or areas that do not have access to a municipal waste collection system, Ryan Gerlich said , AgriLife Extension on-site wastewater program specialist, Bryan-College Station.

“Systems that do not function properly can contaminate our waterways with bacteria and other pollutants, in addition to creating health risks for people,” Gerlich said.

Understanding Septic Tank Systems

The clinic provides a basic understanding of the operations and maintenance activities of an OSSF and explains how household activities impact wastewater systems. This clinic does not certify homeowners to perform their own quarterly inspections, which are required for aerobic systems.

“There will be presentations on health and safety aspects, system care and maintenance, and general maintenance procedures,” said Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension specialist and associate professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Temple. “The remainder of the clinic will provide participants with the opportunity to ask questions in an informal and interactive manner.”

Lisa Prcin, AgriLife Research specialist and Lampasas River Watershed Coordinator at Temple, said the clinic will also discuss implementation of the OSSF components of the Lampasas River Watershed Protection Plan.

“We have secured a second round of federal grants to help homeowners offset the costs of repairing or replacing 20 failing septic systems within the watershed as part of our implementation efforts,” Prcin said. “With the first round of funding in 2021 and 2022, we were able to replace 20 failed systems.”

Lampasas River Protection Plan

Broken wastewater treatment plants have been identified by the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership as a potential source of bacterial contamination in nearby streams and waterways. The wastewater system maintenance clinic is offered as an educational component of the Lampasas River Watershed Protection Plan.

The protection plan was developed and implemented by the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership, a collaborative effort by local stakeholders, AgriLife Research, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, to address water quality concerns in the Lampasas River watershed. The Lampasas River watershed includes portions of Mills, Hamilton, Lampasas, Coryell, Burnet, Bell and Williamson counties.

If you have any questions, please contact Prcin at 254-774-6008 or [email protected]. For information about wastewater treatment plants in Texas, visit https://ossf.tamu.edu/.

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