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Preparedness & Response for Septic Systems

After a disaster, such as a hurricane, wildfire, or earthquake, septic systems may be damaged and fail to operate correctly. Ensuring that these systems function properly is essential to providing safe waste disposal for millions of Americans, yet there may be no standard safety protocol in place for using septic systems after a disaster occurs.

We worked with subject matter experts and national partners to develop an easily accessible toolkit with guidance documents for different types of disasters.

  • Each guide focuses on steps septic system users can take before, during, and after a disaster to protect their health and maintain their system.
  • There are two guidance documents included for each disaster area, a longer version with more detailed information and explanations and a shorter version with a checklist and step-by-step instructions.
  • A document containing general educational and safety resources for septic systems is also included to supplement all of the guidance resources.

Guidance and Fact Sheets for Septic Systems

These materials will be available for local agencies to supply to residents before or after a disaster or directly to septic system users. The guidance and checklist are intended for septic system users to be prepared and use before, during, and after a disaster. Understanding septic system type, location, and components before a disaster occurs will make these guides and fact sheets more useful.