A new agreement among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov) and 14 national organizations proposes to improve the wastewater treatment systems serving 25 million homes across the United States. Under terms of the pact, the organizations will work together to improve management of septic wastewater systems by exchanging information and providing technical assistance to their members, states and local municipalities.

Nearly one quarter of the nation’s housing and commercial development depend on onsite and septic wastewater treatment systems, according to the EPA. However, the EPA says between 10 and 20 percent fail each year, posing a great threat to surface and groundwater. Malfunctioning systems are the second greatest threat to groundwater quality in the United States.

For more information on the EPA”s wastewater treatment system program, visit epa.gov/owm/septic