Avoid onsite sewage system problems by being “Septic Smart”

Published Date

Clark County Public Health has seen a 30% increase in permit applications for onsite sewage system repairs compared to the last two years – another potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There can be many reasons that an onsite septic system can fail, but we suspect that with so many families working and learning together at home that many systems are seeing volumes of wastewater much higher than normal,” said Chuck Harman, Environmental Public Health program manager. “Any onsite septic systems that are older, have not been kept up to date on their inspections and maintenance, or might be receiving unusual wastes, such as cleaning wipes, will be prone to failing.”

This week is Septic Smart Week. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Clark County Public Health are reminding homeowners of the importance of keeping onsite septic systems up to date on inspections and maintenance. Homeowners can protect their property’s value and avoid needing emergency septic system replacements by ensuring that systems are in good condition, getting tanks pumped when needed and not flushing items like disposable wipes.

Public Health recommends homeowners work with county-certified professionals to complete system inspections and get advice about maintenance, repairs or onsite septic system replacement. A list of certified professionals and additional resources for homeowners are available on the Public Health website.

“Addressing small problems and taking corrective actions will avoid bigger problems down the road,” Harman said. “By doing so, onsite septic owners protect their investment, maintain a sustainable wastewater treatment method, and protect groundwaters that serve as Clark County’s primary drinking water source.”

Additional information for homeowners is available on the Environmental Protection Agency website.


Marissa Armstrong
senior communications specialist
Public Health