Decentralized Wastewater – A Sensible and Sustainable Solution

EPA issue papers on the Benefits of Septic Systems

Decentralized wastewater treatment can be a sensible solution for communities of any size and demographic. That is the bottom line of four short papers released by the U.S. EPA and the Decentralized MOU Partnership, which includes a number of onsite industry-related organizations. Along with an introductory statement, the papers are entitled:

* Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Can Be Cost Effective and Economical

* Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Can Be Green and Sustainable

* Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Can Protect the Environment, Public Health, and Water Quality

Each two-page paper includes short case studies, links to additional resources, and a list of benefits around “the triple bottom line of sustainability.” The benefits listed are:

Cost-effective and economical

  • Avoiding large capital costs
  • Reducing operation and maintenance costs
  • Promoting business and job opportunities

 Green and sustainable

  • Benefiting water quality and availability
  • Using energy and land wisely
  • Responding to growth while preserving green space

 Safe in protecting the environment, public health, and water quality

  • Protecting the community’s health
  • Reducing conventional pollutants, nutrients, and emerging contaminants
  • Mitigating contamination and health risks associated with wastewater

The EPA Decentralized MOU (Memorandum of Understnding) Partnership was created in 2005 to improve the performance of decentralized systems, encourage proper management of those systems, and increase collaboration in achieving those goals.



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