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Learn about septic systems during annual RI SepticSmart Week

URI and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management celebrate 2023 SepticSmart week with workshops for homeowners

Many Rhode Islanders treat household wastewater using conventional or advanced septic systems on their property. Their septic systems should be maintained properly to treat wastewater effectively and protect environmental and human health. 

Staff from the University of Rhode Island’s Onsite Wastewater Resource Center, with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, are holding a series of workshops during SepticSmart week this year, Sept. 18–22.

The workshops will help homeowners better understand their septic systems and how to keep them working at their best to protect their family’s health and the environment.  

In-person workshops are scheduled Sept. 21 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Kettle Pond Visitor Center in Charlestown and Sept. 23 from 10 to 11 a.m. at URI’s Peckham Farm in South Kingstown. A third workshop will be held virtually Sept. 19 at 12:30 p.m. in partnership with RCAP Solutions. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SepticSmart Program designates the third week of September each year as SepticSmart Week to bring attention to the importance of caring for and maintaining septic systems. 

“Workshop participants will learn about how their septic systems work and how to care for them — protecting their health, and their wallets, too!,” said Alissa Cox, director of URI’s Onsite Wastewater Resource Center. 

“Septic systems require regular maintenance, just like any other home utility,” she says. “We are here to help homeowners understand that regular care and maintenance, as well as best practices, can save them money by prolonging their system’s lifespan.”

Homeowners who visit the demonstration center at URI’s Peckham Farm on Sept. 23 can see a variety of advanced septic system models to learn how they work and why they are so critical along the coast and in other nitrogen-sensitive areas. Staff will also share tips on what to ask if considering a system for one’s property.

For more information or to register, please visit URI’s Onsite Wastewater Resource Center or contact Lisa Hollister at 401-874-5950 /

Photo caption:

You’ll want to go to this! URI’s Onsite Wastewater Resource Center is joining with Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management to offer workshops during SepticSmart week, Sept. 18–22.

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