Free workshop to be held Monday evening by Mower County Public Works concerning septic systems and private wells

Area property owners can learn more about their septic systems and private wells at a free workshop tonight in Austin being organized by Mower County Public Works.

University of Minnesota’s Dr. Sara Heger will give a presentation on the basics of septic systems during the public workshop that will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center’s Ruby Rupner Auditorium.  Snacks and refreshments will be provided along with free well-testing kits and septic system owner’s guides.

Heger’s presentation will cover numerous topics related to subsurface septic treatment systems (SSTS), including what is involved with a septic inspection; how often you should have an SSTS inspection; how to prevent winter freeze-up in tanks; and the importance of soil under an SSTS drain field.

Jeff Grugel of the Minnesota Department of Health also will discuss safe drinking water with private wells, including how and when to test your well water and which wells are at risk for contamination.

Mower County Public Works staff will provide information on the county’s septic ordinance, policies, programs and compliance inspections. Attendees also can learn about low-interest loans available for septic systems.

Also, Mower Soil & Water Conservation District will have a table at the workshop focused on providing information on cost-share assistance available to Mower County landowners who have an abandoned or unused well that needs to be sealed properly. Limited funds are available on a “first come, first served” basis to pay 50 percent of the cost to seal a well up to $1,000 per well. The program is focused first sealing wells in areas of Mower County that are deemed as “highly vulnerable” for drinking water.