Worcester County promotes proper care and maintenance of onsite septic systems

Snow Hill, Maryland – September 18-22, 2023 is SepticSmart Week, and Worcester County Environmental Programs (WCEP) staff urge those served by private septic systems to go online to www.epa.gov/septic/septicsmart-week to remain informed and vigilant in maintaining their septic systems.

WCEP utilizes the Environmental Protection Agency’s SepticSmart program to educate homeowners about the need for proper septic system use and routine maintenance. Though 88 percent of county households utilize public sewer, there are also approximately 7,200 septic systems in Worcester County that treat wastewater from homes and businesses.

“Residents and our environment benefit from properly designed, installed, operated, and maintained septic systems, and in order to maximize these benefits, it takes teamwork between septic system owners, septic professionals, and local regulators,” Environmental Programs Director Robert Mitchell said. “Proper septic system use and care are vital to protecting public health, preserving our groundwater, wetlands, and waterways, and avoiding costly repairs that can result from neglect.”

WCEP staff recommend these do’s and don’ts to be a responsible and successful septic system owner:

  • Have your septic system inspected and pumped every three years by a Maryland-licensed onsite professional.
  • Contact a Maryland-licensed onsite professional if you have a problem with your disposal system or suspect it may be failing.
  • Repair leaks and use water-efficient fixtures to avoid overloading your septic system.
  • Discard non-biodegradable products, such as dental floss, disposable wipes and cat litter, in the trash instead of flushing them.
  • Avoid pouring harsh products, such as oils, grease, chemicals, paint, and medications, down the drain. These products may disrupt the essential decomposition processes in your septic tank.
  • Maintain plants and vegetation near your septic system to ensure roots do not block drains.
  • Keep cars and heavy vehicles parked away from the septic tank and drain field to avoid damaging or crushing its components.
  • It is recommended that home purchasers have a septic system inspection done by a Maryland-licensed onsite professional in accordance with Maryland Department of the Environment regulations.