Southern Regional Water Program

Research, Extension & Education Water Quality Programs through the Land Grant University System

On-Site Wastewater Treatment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that from 10 to 20 percent of onsite systems are failing annually. This represents over 2.5 million malfunctions, resulting in more than 700 million gallons of improperly treated wastewater being discharged each day. Improperly treated wastewater is a source of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which can contribute to contamination of ground water and eutrophication of surface water resources. In addition, pathogens contained in wastewater can pose a significant human health risk.

New technologies are being applied to onsite systems, resulting in higher treatment levels, greater reliability, and more flexibility than ever before. In many communities onsite and decentralized systems are the most appropriate, least costly treatment option, and they allow maximum flexibility in planning for future growth. Most of the above information was derived from the EPA's onsite/decentralized wastewater systems web page.

The links below provide further information about on-site wastewater treatment technologies:

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