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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0104,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15769)
Authors:   J. R. Williams, G. M. Powell, R. D. Jones, A. Murat, and W. R. Perry
Keywords:   wastewater system, wastewater treatment, septic system, lagoon, cost analysis.

We evaluated the results of a survey designed to elicit the cost of installing and operating onsite wastewater treatment systems in Kansas. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports that a significant number of stream miles in Kansas are impaired by pathogen indicator organisms (fecal coliforms). One source of contamination by fecal coliforms is inadequate individual wastewater treatment systems. Therefore, residents and state policy makers are interested in cost information for installing new systems. This information can be used to design a policy to encourage installation of new systems and replacement of failed systems. Two types of systems are most often used: septic tank-soil absorption systems and wastewater stabilization ponds or lagoons. Individual wastewater treatment system installers were surveyed regarding the type, costs, and distribution of each type of individual system being installed by area of the state.

Based on the survey, summaries of the average installation costs of the components for each system are reported. The expected cost of maintenance is also reported. A life cycle cost analysis including installation and maintenance of the various systems was conducted. The annualized average present cost was calculated for each type of wastewater treatment system for different household sizes. A sensitivity analysis was also conducted to determine which factors have the greatest impact on the costs of each system. Results show that although lagoon systems are somewhat less expensive, septic tank-soil absorption systems are more frequently installed in Kansas.

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