Athens, Ga. –The Septic System Challenge received the 2015 Gold Award from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals. It is an educational video created by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, UGA Marine Extension and the Georgia Department of Public Health. The video was designed to help the general public understand and maintain septic systems through an interactive game show format, allowing the viewer to test his/her knowledge against a panel of experts. The 12-minute video is available online (https://vimeo.com/107601730)

“Without proper maintenance, septic systems can leak, creating pollution and affecting water quality,” said Mark Risse, director of Marine Extension, which is a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach. “This video stresses that, when properly maintained, septic systems can protect and maintain public and environmental health for years.”

UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant also used the concept to develop a 30-second public service announcement focused on the maintenance of septic systems in coastal regions. A coastal incentive grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources funded this PSA.

Funding for the original award-winning video came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The project is part of a larger research effort focused on determining the impacts of septic systems on water quality and water quantity in small watersheds near Atlanta. A crucial component of this grant is outreach and education to homeowners on the proper maintenance of septic systems.

The video helps viewers determine if a septic system is on site, how to locate the system, how it works, how to maintain it and signs of septic system failure. It presents an accurate depiction of septic systems, acknowledging that they are an efficient and inexpensive way to treat and dispose of wastewater.

University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

The University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant are a state and federal partnership dedicated to conducting research, education and outreach to enhance coastal environmental, social and economic sustainability. As units of the Office of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia, they help improve public resource policy, encourage far-sighted economic and fisheries decisions, anticipate vulnerabilities to change and educate citizens to be wise stewards of the coastal environment. Georgia Sea Grant is one of 33 Sea Grant programs throughout the country housed under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For more information, visit http://marex.uga.edu or http://georgiaseagrant.uga.edu.