Farm and Ranch
Virtual septic system maintenance clinic set for Sept. 23
By Susan Himes, Texas A&M
Sep 22, 2021
Print this page
Email this article

Free online event to cover wastewater health, safety

There will be a free virtual clinic on septic system maintenance for homeowners from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 23. The event is offered through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership.

The class will be held virtually through the Microsoft Teams platform. There is no software download required to join. To register, go to www.lampasasriver.org; participants will be sent a link to join after registering.

“Home septic systems, also known as on-site sewage systems, or OSSFs, are used to treat wastewater before it is dispersed on the property and are typically found in rural areas or areas that are not able to connect to a municipal waste collection system,” said Ryan Gerlich, AgriLife Extension on-site sewage facilities program specialist, Bryan-College Station. “Systems that are not functioning properly can contaminate our waterways with bacteria and other pollutants.”

Understanding septic systems

The clinic will provide a basic understanding of the operational and maintenance activities of a septic system and explain how activities within the home impact septic systems.

“There will be a short presentation over health and safety considerations, how to care for and feed the system, and general maintenance procedures,” said Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension specialist in Temple and associate professor in Texas A&M’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. “The remainder of the clinic will offer participants the opportunity to ask questions in an informal and interactive manner.”

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

“We have secured federal grant funds, available to offset the costs of repairing or replacing failing septic systems within the watershed,” she said.

Prcin said that six failing septic systems have been replaced in the watershed this year and funds available for an additional nine systems.

Lampasas River protection plan

Failing septic systems were identified by the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership as a potential source of bacterial contamination in nearby streams and waterways. The septic 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 and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to address water quality concerns within the Lampasas River watershed. The Lampasas River watershed encompasses parts of Mills, Hamilton, Lampasas, Coryell, Burnet, Bell and Williamson counties.

For questions, contact Prcin, 254-774-6008 or lprcin@brc.tamus.edu. For information about septic systems in Texas, go to http://ossf.tamu.edu/.

Funding and support for the Lampasas Watershed Protection Plan is provided through 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.