Skip to main content


The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

or click here to sign up for a free trial


Individual and clustered onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTSs) have been implicated in a wide range of groundwater problems and surface water impairments caused by excess loadings of nitrogen, phosphorus, and pathogens. Modeling impacts for existing OWTSs has been difficult due to the wide range of system types, soil treatment mechanisms, and load assignment ranges for systems sited in varying densities and environmental settings. Despite these difficulties, modelers have produced impact estimates for the three primary pollutants cited above at dozens of locations across the nation. These studies have been conducted primarily to quantify pollutant loads for TMDL and other analyses that seek to estimate and reduce current problems; rarely have they been used to prevent problems – i.e., to provide system design guidance and/or performance standards for new development.

A review of the development histories and planning needs of ex-urban and growing rural communities demonstrates a high need for modeling support for wastewater planning in areas beyond the “big pipe” of regional centralized wastewater treatment facilities. Shrinking resources for centralized sewage plants and regional plant overloads – resulting in sanitary sewage overflows and combined sewage overflows – indicate that modeling-enhanced planning for decentralized wastewater management will grow in importance, as local communities seek to both accommodate new development and protect valued water resources.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more