Own a well or septic system? Looking for some impartial advice about the condition of the system, and how to maintain it? Residential Energy Efficiency Project (REEP) has just the program for you.
The environmental non-profit group’s two certified well guides, Brendan Schaefer and Elmira’s Susan Bryant, have had a busy but productive autumn so far, travelling throughout Waterloo Region providing free water protection visits under the Well Aware program, being delivered locally to rural well and septic owners.
“The point of our visits is to help people protect the water on their property, so we look at the well and talk about the particular vulnerabilities of that well might be,” explained Bryant, who has been working with REEP for the past three years. “The visit takes about an hour and a half and is free to the homeowner. We give advice that is tailored for each individual property.”
The service includes recommendations on well maintenance and upgrading, decommissioning unused wells, water conservation, yard naturalization and septic system best-management practices. The visits are an opportunity for homeowners to raise specific questions and concerns they may have about their water quality in a one-on-one format.
“We are not inspectors, and we are not recording or reporting anything,” said Bryant. “This is a chance to ask the questions that you couldn’t ask someone who is trying to sell you something.”
The water guide will also help well owners understand when they need to call a licensed professional for repairs or upgrading. After the visit, the homeowner will be mailed a report containing all observations and recommendations for their well and property.
“Repairs to septic systems can be very expensive and intrusive so we want to help people take better care of and extending the life of their septic tank,” she explained. “Rather than waiting for the damage to happen, we want to show you how to work well with what you have. Using things like biodegradable, eco-friendly items will help keep it in good working order.”
The high number of phone calls from homeowners in Wilmot, Wellesley, Woolwich, and North Dumfries in the past few weeks indicated to the staff at REEP that there’s a real need for this service in the region. There are a limited number of assessments that can be conducted this season and they are being filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For more information or to book a Well Aware visit for next season, contact REEP at 519-744-9799. Send email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the website: www.reepwaterlooregion.ca.