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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been involved in decentralized wastewater management issues since the agency's inception in 1970. EPA supports a wide array of technology and management demonstration projects; publishes system design and management guidance, manuals, and fact sheets; addresses impacts from decentralized wastewater systems (e.g., TMDLs, nonpoint source assessments, and source water assessment and protection plans); requires non-endangerment of underground sources of drinking water from large capacity septic systems; and requires NPDES permits for all decentralized systems that discharge to surface water bodies.

During the past three years, EPA has been developing an agency-wide strategy to organize, focus, and coordinate EPA involvement in decentralized wastewater issues at the federal and regional levels. The strategy is based on EPA's vision that “decentralized wastewater treatment systems are appropriately managed, perform effectively, protect human health and the environment, and are utilized as a key component of our nation's wastewater infrastructure,” and the agency's mission: providing national direction and support to improve the performance of decentralized systems by promoting the concept of continuous management and facilitating upgraded professional standards of practice.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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