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

Citation:  Pp. 1-10 in On-Site Wastewater Treatment, Proc. Ninth Natl. Symp. on Individual and Small Community Sewage Systems (11-14 March 2001, Fort Worth, Texas, USA), ed. K. Mancl., St. Joseph, Mich. ASAE  701P0009.(doi:10.13031/2013.6004)
Authors:   Robert L. Siegrist
Keywords:   Onsite wastewater treatment, research and development, standard of practice

Onsite wastewater systems represent a necessary and appropriate component of the wastewater systems infrastructure in the U.S. In contrast to disposal oriented systems of the past, current and future systems are focused on advanced treatment that is protective of public health and environmental quality. System designs can now be assembled from an expanding array of options from which choices can be made regarding a given application. There is a considerable knowledge base regarding onsite system design, implementation, and performance that enables most commonly used systems to be effectively deployed in most settings. However, the current state-of-knowledge and standard-of-practice does have gaps and shortcomings that can preclude rational system design to predictably and reliably achieve specific performance goals. While choices today are often constrained by prescriptive regulatory codes, they also can be hampered by the absence of a sound science and engineering knowledge base. This paper discusses the basis and need for advancing the science and engineering of onsite wastewater systems to secure their necessary and appropriate status as a component of a sustainable wastewater infrastructure in the U.S.

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