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UNSEWERED COMMUNITIES: PARALYZED BY DISPARATE REGULATORY PROGRAMS?
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Paper number 701P0104, . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15816)
Authors: Richard J. Otis
Keywords: Small community, unsewered community, onsite system, decentralized wastewater, central sewerage, decentralized sewerage, regulatory programs, wastewater treatment
Programs for regulating wastewater treatment in the US have developed along two independent
tracks. One is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting
program established under the federal Clean Water Act to regulate municipal and industrial
wastewater treatment plant point source discharges. The other is a diverse group of local
programs that regulate treatment facilities for individual homes and small commercial
establishments. Both programs attempt to control risks to public health and water quality. The
NPDES program permits discharges from treatment plants that discharge to surface waters. The
treated discharges must meet water quality requirements established to protect water quality.
The onsite treatment programs permit construction of treatment systems that rely on physical
separation of the wastewater from water resources and human activities to protect health and