Mission Statement

Every child.

Every opportunity.

Every time.

At KPS it is our mission to nurture the dreams of all students and empower all students to contribute to a better world.

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    Everything is Connected

    Septic System Care & Maintenance

    While municipal wastewater (or sanitary) systems serve most Michigan residents, 35% of residents operate on a private wastewater system commonly referred to as a septic system.

    1. More than 1.3 million homes and businesses in Michigan depend on these septic systems to treat wastewater.
    2. State officials estimate that 10 percent of those have failed and are polluting the environment. If not maintained, failing septic systems can contaminate water resources and harm the environment by releasing bacteria, viruses, household chemicals and other pollutants to local waterways.
    3. Proper septic system maintenance protects public health, the environment, and saves the homeowner money by limiting costly repairs.

    What is an Onsite Wastewater System (i.e., Septic System)?

    All wastewater treatment systems, either municipal or single-family onsite wastewater systems include:

    Septic System Care
    What is an Onsite Wastewater System (i.e., Septic System)?

    In this picture of an example onsite wastewater system:

    • #1 is the building sewer or collection system leading to
    • #2 the septic tank which is the first step in the treatment system followed by
    • #3 and #4 the drainfield where the final treatment and dispersal into the environment happens

    Don't Overload the Commode:

    A toilet is not a trash can. Disposable diapers and wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, condoms, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, and cat litter can damage a septic system.

    Think at the Sink:

    What goes down the drain has a big impact on your septic system. Fats, grease, and solids can clog a system's pipes and drainfield.

    Protect It and Inspect It:

    Homeowners should generally have their system inspected every three years by a qualified professional or according to their state or local health department's recommendations. Regular septic system maintenance can save homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs and protect public health.

    Don't Strain Your Drain:

    Use water efficiently and stagger use of water-based appliances. Too much water use at once can overload a system that has not been pumped recently. Fix plumbing leaks and install faucet aerators and water-efficient products.

    Shield Your Field:

    Tree and shrub roots, cars, and livestock can damage your septic drainfield.

    Pump your Tank:

    Ensure your septic tank is pumped at regular intervals as recommended by a professional and/or local permitting authority.

    Signs that Your System is Failing?

    a. Sewage backup in drains or toilets.

    b. Slow flushing toilets, sinks or drains.

    c. Visible liquid on the surface of the ground near the septic system. It may or may not have an odor associated with it.

    d. Lush green grass over the drainfield, even during dry weather. Often, this indicates that an excessive amount of liquid from the system is moving up through the soil, instead of downward, as it should. While some upward movement of liquid from the drainfield is good, too much could indicate major problems.

    e. Buildup of aquatic weeds or algae in lakes or ponds adjacent to your home. This may indicate that nutrient-rich septic system waste is leaching into the surface water.

    f. Unpleasant odors around your house. Often, an improperly vented plumbing system or a failing septic system causes a buildup of disagreeable odors around the home.

    What to do if your system is failing:
    If your system exhibits one or more of the failure indicators, contact your county health official for assistance in assessing the situation. Sometimes the system may be able to be repaired without complete replacement. Sewage contains harmful bacteria, so keep pets and children away from the failure. Limit water use until repairs can be made. If a new system or repairs are needed, a permit is often required from your local health department.

    Keep It Clean !

    Contamination can occur when a septic system leaks due to improper maintenance. Be sure your drinking water is safe to drink by testing it regularly. The U.S. EPA's SepticSmart Program educates homeowners about proper septic system care and maintenance all year long. In addition, it serves as an online resource for industry practitioners, local governments, and community organizations, providing access to tools to educate clients and residents.

    Mission Statement

    The Kalamazoo Stormwater Working Group (KSWG) is a collaborative effort of outreach and education for our interconnected Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (or MS4s) in the Kalamazoo County area. Rain falls and snow melts across hard and impervious surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. The water flows to storm sewers or catch basins which direct it to a natural surface water body such as a wetland, river, pond or lake. Stormwater runoff carries salts, grass clippings, sediment, fertilizer, oils, pet waste, and other material left on driveways and sidewalks into the catch basins, and unfortunately, they eventually drain to our natural water bodies. KSWG partners work together to protect against harmful discharges to the Kalamazoo River and its tributaries.

    Topic 8. Inform and educate on septic system care and maintenance and how to recognize failure.