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. 451-460 in On-Site Wastewater Treatment, Proc. Ninth Natl. Symp. On Individual and Small Community Sewage Systems (11-14 March 2001, Forth Worth, Texas, USA), ed. K. Mancl. St. Joseph, Mich.: ASAE  701P0009.(doi:10.13031/2013.6052)
Authors:   K. M. Olson, D. M. Gustafson
Keywords:   On-Site Septic Systems, Wastewater Management, Education, Educational Materials

On-site sewage treatment systems are used to treat wastewater from 25% of all homes in the U.S. (US EPA 4/97). In Minnesota 27% of all homes recycle their wastewater via on-site sewage treatment systems. On-site systems can and do safely recycle wastewater when properly designed, installed, operated and maintained. If an on-site system fails to properly treat sewage, it is likely because of: (Olson, 1999) 1. Improper design or installation 2. Lack of maintenance 3. Over use of water Local units of government, the MPCA and the University of Minnesota continually work to improve the design and installation of systems through research, training of professionals, and enforcement. This must continue. Improved management (operation, monitoring and maintenance) of on-site systems has been the goal of the University of Minnesota Extension Services homeowner education program since 1992. The program educates homeowners and persons in direct contact with homeowners through the use of educational materials, classes, seminars, and mass media. The volume of materials distributed, follow-up evaluations and unsolicited feedback and testimonials indicate success in meeting the objectives. With continued emphasis on system design and installation plus increased attention to system management, on-site systems will remain a viable sewage treatment option to meet long-term ecological sustainability and protect human and environmental health.

(Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)