Click on “Download PDF” for the PDF version or on the title for the HTML version.

If you are not an ASABE member or if your employer has not arranged for access to the full-text, Click here for options.


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

Citation:  Pp. 415-426 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:10.13031/2013.6051)
Authors:   R.J. Otis, B.J. McCarthy, J. Crosby
Keywords:   Onsite wastewater treatment, onsite performance code, onsite management

Codes regulating onsite wastewater treatment systems are nearly universally prescriptive, specifying detailed system designs for suites of sites meeting specific criteria. The designs typically are based on empirical relationships and prior experience with specific site and soil characteristics. The objective of the code is to ensure that a compliant system is installed for the site conditions encountered. If building sites do not meet the accepted criteria, costly holding tanks or central sewerage usually are the only other options. The current Chapter 7080 of the Minnesota Rules regulating onsite treatment systems is primarily prescriptive. In northeast Minnesota, a large percentage of the existing lot conditions are not suitable for most of the designs permitted in the state code. As many as 70 percent of existing systems are not in compliance with rule prescripts. As a result, economic hardships have been created and economical development prohibited. To achieve sustainable development that does not sacrifice public health or environmental quality, a performance code can provide the necessary flexibility to correct existing failures and allow economic growth. In January 2000, nine northeast/northcentral Minnesota counties undertook an effort to develop a performance code framework that could be used to develop customized performance codes addressing the difficulties with effective onsite wastewater treatment in the region. This paper presents the background, purpose, and objectives of the framework, and principles on which the framework is developed.

(Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)