Action: Reduce or prevent the use of septic systems near caves
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of reducing or preventing the use of septic systems near caves on bat populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Leaking septic systems are a major cause of groundwater pollution. Septic systems installed in karst areas are particularly likely to fail due to thin soils, sloping topography and unstable foundations. Pollution from septic systems can degrade underground habitats (e.g. Graening & Brown 2003), with potential impacts on roosting bats.
Graening G.O. & Brown A.V. (2003) Ecosystem dynamics and pollution effects in an Ozark cave stream. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 39, 1497–1507.