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Partner Blog

Information of use to those who serve private well owners.

Disaster Preparedness for Septic System Owners

Disaster Preparedness for Septic System Owners

As we continue to encounter extreme weather events in 2019, it’s important for septic system owners to be aware of their role in natural disaster preparation, response, and recovery.  A natural disaster can include anything from a major hurricane, earthquake, wildfire, seasonal flooding, cold weather event, or an unforeseen power outage. During these events, septic system owners can either prevent or encourage drinking water contamination, the spread of disease, injuries, and hefty recovery expenses depending on their response.

A recent webinar by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency highlighted some great resources septic system owners and sanitarians can use in disaster preparation. One of the best tools was developed by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) this year to provide guidance to septic system users before, during, and after a disaster. What’s frequently included in most of these guidelines is to maintain a healthy, leak proof system. Owners should keep documentation of their system components that include photos, a description of the tank location, and who to call for assistance. Before a disaster, users should turn off system power and reduce water use. When a seasonal vacation home is left empty, the septic system should already be prepared for a natural disaster. During the disaster, proceed to follow the emergency and evacuation advice for your area. Correspond with your local health department and have the system inspected before returning to regular use when the emergency has passed.

With roughly 20% of U.S. houses relying on a septic systems, it’s important that owners are educated and aware of how to respond during a natural disaster. Check out NEHA’s guidelines to make sure you’re ready!

Blog contribution was written by Jill Wallitschek

Free Class Now Part of NEHA's Updated eLearning Center

More than two years ago we announced the availability of our free class on the National Environmental Health Association's eLearning platform, with 10 pre-approved CEs for environmental health professionals.

NEHA recently switched technology providers and we are excited to share that our class has made the move. Plus, it's now trackable within your NEHA account.

The Private Well Course is a 10-lesson, self-paced version of The Private Well Class, our 10-week email program for well owners. There's no need to wait. You can access everything at once when you log on with NEHA. Here's how you can access this content for free and without being NEHA member:

Step 1. Create a free account or log in to an existing account on the MyNEHA member portal.

Step 2. If you are asked to purchase a membership, press the "Cancel" button. You will be redirected to a dashboard.

Step 3. Click the "Online Store" tab and then the "NEHA Partner Courses" link.

Step 4. Locate "The Private Well Course" and click the "Add to Cart" button.

Step 5. Click the "View Shopping Cart" link in the upper right.

Step 6. Press the "Checkout" button. You will be directed to a confirmation screen.

Step 7. Press the "Place Order" button.

Step 8. Check your email and follow the instructions to access your course at neha.moonami.com using your MyNEHA login credentials.

Note: We are unable to provide support for NEHA login or continuing education issues. If you have any difficulty, you may email sezcurra@neha.org for customer service.

NEHA Offers Free Accredited Private Well Class for Sanitarians

The Private Well Class, partnering with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), is excited to announce that NEHA now offers The Private Well Class as a 10-lesson course on their e-Learning website. Each lesson is available for one Continuing Education (CE) Credit from NEHA for any credential program that accepts NEHA CE Credits. The course is completely free, and each lesson can be taken independently.

Over the last 3+ years that The Private Well Class has been available, many environmental health professionals have contacted us about getting CE Credits for taking the class. Because the class was developed for well owners, there was no mechanism developed to provide CE Credits. We are excited to be able to offer this alternative for the many professionals working with well owners.

How to Access the Course

To access the course, you need to register on the NEHA e-Learning website, following the steps below. If you are already registered for the free NEHA courses, you can skip step 1 and proceed to the login screen.

Step 1. Complete this form to create a username and password for NEHA's free courses.

Step 2. Upon login, visit the FREE EPA, CDC, and FDA Sponsored Courses page (if you were not already directed there). Scroll to the bottom and look for the list of sub-categories and click on "Water Quality".

Step 3. Scroll down to the Private Well Course, WQ1601. Click on that title to get to the course material shown below.

Step 4. For each lesson, view and download the lesson, then take the quiz. You have to get 70% to pass.  Please contact us at info@privatewellclass.org if you have any questions about the course.

The Private Well Class is a collaboration between the Rural Community Assistance Partnership and the University of Illinois, through the Illinois State Water Survey and the Illinois Water Resources Center, and funded by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.