Outreach, Shoreline Living and Restoration

Septic Sense – Septic Socials and Septic System Landscaping Classes

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist

WSG staff provide a variety of services and suggestions for managing septic systems. A well-placed and properly functioning septic system is an effective method of treatment and disposal. Its operation and maintenance requires an educated, hands-on approach.

Septic Socials

A Septic Social is a great way to meet your neighbors and entertain your friends while discovering your underground treasure. The program, which has been running for more than 20 years, was developed by WSG to bring the topic of septic system operation and maintenance to users’ backyards.

Sea Grant staff meet with the host a week before a Social to uncover the septic system and learn its layout. During the Social, participants learn to check the sludge and scum layer as well as the system’s flow. Uncovering the system and letting people explore it from aboveground takes the mystery out of how the system works.

Septic System Landscaping

Planting is recommended in septic areas because plants assist oxygen exchange and evaporation in the drainfield area. Covering your septic area with plastics, bark, gravel or patio blocks set in sand won’t provide the same benefits as planting. Landscapes can be attractive and easily maintained when you choose the right plants and adornments to conceal aboveground septic system components. How do you know which plants will do well? Which ones won’t harm your system? This workshop teaches homeowners the basics of landscaping existing and new septic systems.

To give septic system owners further guidance, WSG staff have provided the following documents:

For more information about these workshops, contact Teri King at wsgcanal@uw.edu.


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