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

Citation:  Pp. 427-434 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:10.13031/2013.6082)
Authors:   M. K. Clark, W. S. Heigis, B. F. Douglas, J. B. Hoover
Keywords:   Data analysis, Data management, Demonstration, EPA, GIS Geographic Information System, GPS Global Positioning System, IA, Management tool, On-site sewage disposal, On-site wastewater treatment, Orthophotograph, Sewage treatment, Sewage system, Spatial analysis

Warren, a traditional New England village in northern Vermont, began receiving reports of failing sewage systems in the early 1980s. Water quality monitoring showed elevated levels of E. coli in the Mad River. As a result, Warren started a process to develop a centralized collection, treatment, and dispersal system for domestic wastewater. The project stalled due to high construction costs, resistance to mandatory connection requirements, and the fact that the dispersal field could not accommodate flows from the entire village. In 1998, Warren was awarded an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Community Decentralized Wastewater Management Demonstration grant to evaluate, develop, and implement alternative community wastewater solutions. The solution development includes an extensive public education program; a wastewater needs survey, and homeowner workshops. A Wastewater Advisory Committee of local residents is guiding the planning process. The Committee has helped oversee a lot-by-lot needs assessment, and evaluate site conditions and wastewater treatment needs. Local and state regulations are used as the basis for rating individual sewage systems and determining whether a site has suitable area for future replacement. A comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS) was created to integrate available electronic data with field assessments. The decentralized wastewater needs assessment focuses on maintaining existing suitable systems, identifying replacement system solutions as close to the wastewater generating property as possible, and establishing a community wastewater management program. The range of solutions available includes improved maintenance or upgrades to existing suitable systems, replacing marginal systems with traditional on-site or innovative and alternative treatment and dispersal systems, and identifying potential cluster sites for those lots requiring off-site solutions. This approach develops customized solutions for each lot, based on a fact-based assessment of needs and alternatives. Implementing a management program, including remote monitoring, is the next step to keep all wastewater treatment and dispersal systems functioning well on a long-term basis.

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