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Holiday Guests and Your Water & Wastewater System

Holiday Guests and Your Water & Wastewater System, Acreage Insights - December 2017,

The holiday season is in full swing. Friends, family and food are three fixtures of the holidays. They are also three things that can have an impact on your water and wastewater system. Owning your own well and wastewater system requires you to understand how to properly operate and maintain the systems. Once you understand those day-to-day practices, they can ideally become routine. However, your guests may not be familiar with those best practices. Below are some of the most important tips to pass on to guests and for you to remember during the busy holiday season.

  • Conserve water to reduce strain on both your well and wastewater system:
    • Check for leaks such as a dripping faucet or shower head or running toilet
    • Ask guests to take quicker showers or use this season as an opportunity to install a low-flow showerhead
    • Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for drinking to eliminate running water from the tap to get cold water
  • Spread out water use:
    • Divide showers by having some people take showers in the morning and others in the evening
    • Keep loads of laundry to one or two per day
    • Run the dishwasher over night while water use will be low and avoid running the dishwasher daily if possible
  • Manage solids entering the waste water system:
    • Do not flush paper towels, tissues, wipes, diapers, cigarette butts or feminine products
    • Limit use of the garbage disposal by either composting or disposing large amounts of food items such as potato peels into the trash instead of the garbage disposal
    • Do not pour grease or cooking oils down the drain

Keeping these practices in mind are essential to reduce strain on your water or wastewater system on a daily basis. Helping your guests keep these in mind will allow you to spend time enjoying the holidays rather than cleaning up a mess or springing for costly repairs.

More information on operating and maintaining your well and wastewater system can be found at:

Meghan Sittler
Meghan Sittler
Extension Educator - Domestic Water & Wastewater
Meghan's education includes a master's degree in natural resources with minors in political science and environmental planning. She also has a graduate certification in public policy analysis, as well as undergraduate degrees in environmental studies and anthropology from UNL. Her graduate project was focused on the development of collaborative and adaptive management for the Missouri River.

Sittler began as coordinator of the Lower Platte River Corridor Alliance in December 2008. Prior to that, Sittler worked for the National Park Service as an archaeological technician, an environmental educator with the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department, an adviser and instructor with the UNL Environmental Studies program and School of Natural Resources and as a research and outreach specialist for the National Drought Mitigation Center. Meghan began her work as a Nebraska Extension Educator focussing on water in 2016.

Lancaster County Extension Office
444 Cherrycreek Rd
Lincoln NE 68528-1591