Thursday, December 31, 2015

Flooding Issues: Dealing with Flooded Home Septic Systems

Contact: Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist
Headquartered in Webster County
Tel: (417) 859-2044

MARSHFIELD, Mo. – Home septic systems are being negatively impacted by the wet weather conditions in Missouri according to Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Our office is getting a lot of questions by phone and email about the same basic issue,” said Schultheis.

Question: What recommendations do you have for homeowners that have flooded septic systems?

Answer: The absorption drain field after the septic tank is not going to work until the soil becomes unsaturated.

If the septic system’s drain field is flooded or saturated, plug all basement drains and drastically reduce water use in the house. Don’t run water from a basement sump pump into the septic system or let water from roof gutters or the sump pump discharge into the drain field. Plug floor drains if flooding is occurring next to the house because water can flow back through the septic system. Unbolt toilets from the floor and plug the outlet pipe, shower drains, washing machine and basement sink drain.

Here are two links with more details.

What to do with Flooded Septic Systems

Managing Your Septic Tank During/Following a Flood

MU Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians to improve lives, communities and economies by providing relevant, responsive and reliable educational solutions. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything. More information on this topic is available online at

Saving Water for Residential Use

Here are a few indoor water conservation tips from Bob Schultheis, a natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

To save indoor water use:
a.  Repair faucet and toilet leaks
b.  Install toilet dams on older units
c.  Avoid unnecessary toilet flushing
d.  Take short showers instead of baths (8-10 gallons vs. 30-50 gallons; limit teenagers to 5-minute showers)
e.  Use low-flow shower head (50% less water, with more velocity)
f.  Turn off shower when shampooing or soaping
g.  Run only full loads in dishwasher and clothes washer (20-50 gallons/cycle)
h.  Install faucet aerators (50% less water)
i.   Turn off faucet when shaving, brushing teeth, handwashing dishes
j.   Limit use of the hot tub/spa/Jacuzzi

More details can be found at:

Saving Water - Tips for Residential Use

Indoor Water Use in the United States

Questionable water can be made drinkable by following the procedures in

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

USDA Offers Flood Impacted Missouri Farmers and Ranchers Immediate Disaster Assistance; Farm Service Agency Stands Ready to Assist Agricultural Producers Slammed by Recent Heavy Rains

Missouri Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers and ranchers across the state of federal farm program benefits that may be available to help eligible producers recover from recent heavy rains and flooding.

FSA offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts following floods or similar qualifying natural disasters. Available programs and loans include:

Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) - provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters (includes native grass for grazing). Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2016 crops.

Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) - offers payments to eligible producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible losses may include those determined by FSA to have been caused by hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, tropical storms, tornados, lightning, extreme heat, and extreme cold. Producers will be required to provide verifiable documentation of death losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent.

Tree Assistance Program (TAP) – provides assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers for qualifying tree, shrub and vine losses due to natural disaster.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) - provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs. ELAP covers physically damaged or destroyed livestock feed that was purchased or mechanically harvested forage or feedstuffs intended for use as feed for the producer's eligible livestock. In order to be considered eligible, harvested forage must be baled; forage that is only cut, raked or windrowed is not eligible. Producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent.

For beekeepers, ELAP covers beehive losses (the physical structure) in instances where the hive has been destroyed by a natural disaster including flooding, high winds and tornadoes.

• Emergency Loan Program – Available to producers with agriculture operations located in a county under a primary or contiguous Secretarial Disaster designation. These low interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding.

• Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) - provides emergency funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate land severely damaged by natural disasters; includes fence loss.

• HayNet - is an Internet-based Hay and Grazing Net Ad Service allowing farmers and ranchers to share 'Need Hay' ads and 'Have Hay' ads online. Farmers also can use another feature to post advertisements for grazing land, specifically ads announcing the availability of grazing land or ads requesting a need for land to graze.

To establish or retain FSA program eligibility, farmers and ranchers must report prevented planting and failed acres (crops and grasses).

For more information on disaster assistance programs and loans visit or contact your local FSA Office. To find your local FSA county office, visit

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