Conservation Matters September 2017

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Partnership presents workshop, offers assistance for septic system repairs, replacements

By Kathy Wythe

Partnership presents workshop, offers assistance for septic system repairs, replacements

The Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership is addressing homeowner septic systems in the watershed by hosting a training on maintaining septic systems and initiating a repair and replacement program to help improve and protect the watershed’s water quality.

The partnership, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research are co-hosting a Homeowner Maintenance Septic Systems training from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 7 in Nacogdoches. The free event will be at the AgriLife Extension office for Nacogdoches County, Courthouse Annex, 203 W. Main St.

Amy Uyen Truong, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) extension assistant, said the course provides a basic understanding of the operational and maintenance activities of conventional and aerobic septic systems, plus explains how activities within the home can impact septic systems.

“Presentations will cover treatment processes, health and safety considerations, and general maintenance procedures such as when to pump out a tank or what not to allow go down the drain,” she said.

To register, contact Ricky Thompson, AgriLife Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources, Nacogdoches County, at 936-560-7711 or ricky.thompson@ag.tamu.edu. For information about the septic system program, contact Ryan Gerlich, AgriLife Extension program specialist, at 979-458-4185 or visit AgriLife Extension's On-Site Sewage Facilities.  

The partnership is also now offering a septic system repair and replacement program to watershed residents.

Truong said financial and technical assistance is available to homeowners to repair or replace malfunctioning aerobic or conventional septic systems within the watershed.

“Home septic systems are used to treat wastewater before the wastewater is dispersed back into the environment,” she said. “Malfunctioning septic systems can cause bacteria to contaminate the environment.”

Truong said the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan was completed in early 2015, and efforts have been under way to secure financial and technical assistance to implement portions of the plan and improve water quality across the watershed.

“During creation of the plan, stakeholders identified failing septic systems as a major contributor of bacteria in the watershed,” she said, “so a goal of the partnership was to reduce the number of failing septic systems in the watershed. The training as well as the repair and replacement program will help accomplish that.”

To find out how they can receive financial or technical assistance, homeowners should contact Pineywoods Resource Conservation and Development at 936-568-0414 or pineywoodsrcd@att.net.

The Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership is a collaborative effort of local stakeholders to address water quality concerns within the Attoyac Bayou watershed. The partnership is supported by TWRI in collaboration with the Angelina & Neches River Authority, Stephen F. Austin State University, Pineywoods Resource Conservation and Development and the Nacogdoches Soil and Water Conservation District.

Funding and support for the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan implementation efforts are provided through Clean Water Act grants from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

To more information on the training, read the AgriLife Today story.

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