The online RCAP Resources Library has a variety of resources that are useful to small, rural drinking water and wastewater systems.

Septic System Basics for Homeowners, Community Leaders, Planners and Realtors

This resource is a collection of files that will equip a community leader or outside trainer to present a live, classroom-style training on septic system basics for homeowners, community leaders, planners and realtors. It is not necessarily designed for any member of these groups to read as an individual, although that can be done.


Learning objectives

After this training, participants should understand:

  • Why wastewater treatment and septic systems are important
  • How a septic system works and what each component does
  • How to take care of a septic system and keep it at proper operating levels
  • Proper location of a septic system on property and the importance of soil
  • Variations on septic systems that can be used in challenging locations

Delivery of training

This training module provides all of the necessary files to carry out training on the basics of septic systems.

The main file in this module is a PowerPoint file (PowerPoint 97-2003). This PowerPoint file:

  • is 36.5 MB
  • is provided in editable form so the trainer can edit and adapt it to fit particular situations
  • provides notes with the slides. These notes are not necessarily a script for the trainer to read word-for-word but can provide some prompts to the trainer in order to elaborate on the information in the slides projected to the trainees. The trainer should review the entire file (both the notes and the content of the slides to be projected) before delivering the presentation and print out the notes pages as a guide for delivering the presentation (since speaker notes are not shown when projecting the slide during the training).

There are various points during the delivery of the PowerPoint presentation to stop and hold discussions or carry out exercises, either in small groups or by soliciting input from participants as a whole class. These points and instructions for the discussions are indicated in the PowerPoint slides, and detailed instructions for carrying out the exercises follows below.