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EPA Decentralized Wastewater Management E-Handbook Now Available

EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management has recently expanded its “Handbook for Managing Onsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater Treatment Systems with the addition of an “E-Handbook.” Decentralized wastewater treatment systems, if properly designed and operated, can protect sources of drinking from both a quality and quantity standpoint.  Such systems return more water to the watershed than conventional collection and treatment systems and also help avoid overloading of centralized wastewater treatment facilities.  

The E-Handbook features resource guides containing detailed information on the 13 management program elements featured in the existing management handbook: public education, planning, performance, site evaluation, design, construction/installation, operation/maintenance, inspections/monitoring, residuals management, training/certification, financial assistance, inventory/recordkeeping, and compliance assurance.

The E-Handbook focuses on individual and clustered wastewater systems that discharge to the soil, but the information can also be applied to small systems that discharge to surface waters through federal or state National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit programs. The E-Handbook is intended for health departments, wastewater system management entities, local governments, and others involved in managing multiple individual or clustered treatment systems. Each resource guide contains detailed information on each program element topic and links to other resources, case studies, and examples of successful management programs. The resource guides in the E-Handbook can be accessed via hot-links in the current Management Handbook posted at http://www.epa.gov/owm/onsite.