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US Environmental Protection Agency 1 Decentralized Systems: A National Presence Maureen Tooke EPA Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) RCAP Annual National.

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Presentation on theme: "US Environmental Protection Agency 1 Decentralized Systems: A National Presence Maureen Tooke EPA Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) RCAP Annual National."— Presentation transcript:

1 US Environmental Protection Agency 1 Decentralized Systems: A National Presence Maureen Tooke EPA Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) RCAP Annual National Training Conference December 2, 2010

2 US Environmental Protection Agency 2 ~22% of homes use onsite treatment ~22% of homes use onsite treatment ~25% of new construction ~25% of new construction 50% in suburban areas 50% in suburban areas 10-20% fail each year 10-20% fail each year 2 nd highest threat to gw 2 nd highest threat to gw Onsite systems are a significant part of the nation’s infrastructure...

3 US Environmental Protection Agency 3 …But Decentralized Systems Can and Do Work! “Adequately managed decentralized wastewater systems are a cost-effective and long-term option for meeting public health and water quality goals.” - EPA 1997 Report to Congress

4 US Environmental Protection Agency 4 Our Perspective Making a difference! Making a difference! In the beginning... a struggle In the beginning... a struggle Report to Congress was a pivotal moment in the history of decentralized systems... recognition by EPA of benefits/impacts Report to Congress was a pivotal moment in the history of decentralized systems... recognition by EPA of benefits/impacts EPA Decentralized Wastewater Program initiated to focus on improving management practices EPA Decentralized Wastewater Program initiated to focus on improving management practices Future focus on addressing underserved/hardship communities Future focus on addressing underserved/hardship communities

5 US Environmental Protection Agency 5 What are Underserved Communities? Includes: Includes: 1.7 million people without access to safe wastewater and water services with 600,000 people in small, rural communities that are remote and impoverished 11.7 million people without access to safe wastewater and water services with 600,000 people in small, rural communities that are remote and impoverished 1 Underserved populations -- tribes, territories, colonias, rural areas, low income, elderly, ethnic groups, etc.Underserved populations -- tribes, territories, colonias, rural areas, low income, elderly, ethnic groups, etc. 1 RCAP analysis of 2000 U.S. Census

6 US Environmental Protection Agency 6 New Administration Goals Commit stimulus funding Commit stimulus funding Fully fund the green reserveFully fund the green reserve Address underserved community needs Address underserved community needs Ensure environmental justice communities receive attention Ensure environmental justice communities receive attention

7 US Environmental Protection Agency 7 EPA’s Decentralized Program

8 US Environmental Protection Agency 8 EPA’s Decentralized Wastewater Program Strategy (January 2005) Vision: Decentralized systems are appropriately managed & perform effectively to protect human health & the environment; recognized as a key component of our nation’s wastewater infrastructure. Mission: EPA will provide national direction and support to improve performance by promoting perpetual management and upgraded professional standards of practice.

9 US Environmental Protection Agency “Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual” published “Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual” published 2003 – “A Homeowners’ Guide to Septic Systems” published 2003 – “A Homeowners’ Guide to Septic Systems” published release of the “Voluntary National Management Guidelines” (14 states adopted to date) release of the “Voluntary National Management Guidelines” (14 states adopted to date) Major Actions/Tools

10 US Environmental Protection Agency 10 Major Actions/Tools (cont.) EPA released its “Decentralized System Program Strategy” EPA released its “Decentralized System Program Strategy” EPA and eight partners signed the “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Decentralized Wastewater Systems” EPA and eight partners signed the “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Decentralized Wastewater Systems” Renewed in 2008 with 6 additional partnersRenewed in 2008 with 6 additional partners

11 US Environmental Protection Agency 11 Major Actions/Tools (cont.) “Management Handbook” published “Management Handbook” published “The Wastewater Information Systems Tool” (TWIST) released “The Wastewater Information Systems Tool” (TWIST) released 14 states have adopted Guidelines 14 states have adopted Guidelines Documents released in Spanish Documents released in Spanish 2009 – “e-Handbook” released 2009 – “e-Handbook” released 13 ‘hot-linked’ resource guides included13 ‘hot-linked’ resource guides included

12 US Environmental Protection Agency 12 Major Actions/Tools (cont’d) Clean Watersheds Needs Survey Report to Congress on needs for wastewater treatment Report to Congress on needs for wastewater treatment Congress is considering revised allotment formula for SRF loan program Congress is considering revised allotment formula for SRF loan program 2008 Survey will include needs for onsite and clustered systems 2008 Survey will include needs for onsite and clustered systems State and local onsite staff will provide data State and local onsite staff will provide data Website: epa.gov/owm/cwns Website: epa.gov/owm/cwns

13 US Environmental Protection Agency 13 MOU Partnership

14 US Environmental Protection Agency 14 Decentralized Wastewater Partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Initiated in January 2005 to: Initiated in January 2005 to: Facilitate effective collaboration and open communication between the organizationsFacilitate effective collaboration and open communication between the organizations Implement a voluntary program to address decentralized wastewater issuesImplement a voluntary program to address decentralized wastewater issues Elevate the level of professionalismElevate the level of professionalism Renewed in November 2008 to: Renewed in November 2008 to: Incorporate state focus and research componentIncorporate state focus and research component Improve collaboration among regulatory programs within statesImprove collaboration among regulatory programs within states Conduct outreach and marketing to homeowners and communitiesConduct outreach and marketing to homeowners and communities

15 US Environmental Protection Agency 15Partners Water Environment Federation (WEF) Water Environment Federation (WEF) National Small Flows Clearinghouse National Small Flows Clearinghouse National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT) National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT) Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) National Association of Wastewater Transporters (NAWT) National Association of Wastewater Transporters (NAWT) Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Treatment Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Treatment

16 US Environmental Protection Agency 16 Partners Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators Ground Water Protection Council Ground Water Protection Council State Onsite Regulators Alliance State Onsite Regulators Alliance Association of State Drinking Water Administrators Association of State Drinking Water Administrators Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Water Environment Research Foundation Water Environment Research Foundation **New Partners joining the MOU winter 2011 SORA

17 US Environmental Protection Agency 17 Partnership Accomplishments & Tools Joint training and credentialing program for installers began in 2006 Joint training and credentialing program for installers began in 2006 NAWT inspector, operation and maintenance, and vacuum truck training NAWT inspector, operation and maintenance, and vacuum truck training NOWRA Model code development and related workshops NOWRA Model code development and related workshops WEF Small Communities Committee promotes decentralized alternatives to engineering community WEF Small Communities Committee promotes decentralized alternatives to engineering community Cross-attendance at conferences and trainings Cross-attendance at conferences and trainings WERF Decentralized Research WERF Decentralized Research SORA/NEHA/NOWRA/EPA Regional Coordinator’s ‘Super Conference’ – June 2010 SORA/NEHA/NOWRA/EPA Regional Coordinator’s ‘Super Conference’ – June 2010

18 US Environmental Protection Agency 18 Partnership Accomplishments & Tools Certified Installer of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (CIOWTS) Certified Installer of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (CIOWTS) EPA supports the NEHA credential for onsite system installersEPA supports the NEHA credential for onsite system installers Two types of certificationsTwo types of certifications Basic system Basic system Advanced system Advanced system National credential available for state or local programsNational credential available for state or local programs

19 US Environmental Protection Agency 19 Partnership Accomplishments & Tools Septic Wiki - https://ssoprod.epa.gov/sso/jsp/septicWikiLogin.jsp https://ssoprod.epa.gov/sso/jsp/septicWikiLogin.jsp A collaborative website A collaborative website Upload/share documents yourselfUpload/share documents yourself A one stop shop for all A one stop shop for all Contents: Contents: Tools & TrainingTools & Training NewsNews Best practices, demo projects, research, factsheets, calendarBest practices, demo projects, research, factsheets, calendar

20 US Environmental Protection Agency 20 CWSRF Funding CWSRF Funding

21 US Environmental Protection Agency 21 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Facts The Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1987 authorized the CWSRF to fund: The Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1987 authorized the CWSRF to fund: point source (§212),point source (§212), Non-point source (§319), andNon-point source (§319), and estuary (§320) projects.estuary (§320) projects. Decentralized system projects that are solutions to nonpoint source problems may be eligible as a §319 or §320 project. Decentralized system projects that are solutions to nonpoint source problems may be eligible as a §319 or §320 project.

22 US Environmental Protection Agency 22 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) CWSRF Green Reserve Project types eligible for Green Reserve funding: Project types eligible for Green Reserve funding: Projects with water efficiency componentsProjects with water efficiency components Projects with energy efficiency componentsProjects with energy efficiency components Green (stormwater) infrastructure projectsGreen (stormwater) infrastructure projects Environmentally innovative projectsEnvironmentally innovative projects Decentralized projects specifically identified here Decentralized projects specifically identified here Language in 2010 Appropriations; expect it to continue Language in 2010 Appropriations; expect it to continue

23 US Environmental Protection Agency 23 Chesapeake Bay Executive Order Issued by the President May 12, 2009 Issued by the President May 12, 2009 Nitrogen loading to CB from onsites is 4-5% of the total Nitrogen loading to CB from onsites is 4-5% of the total Decentralized program to develop model program guidance for the CB states by June 30, 2013 Decentralized program to develop model program guidance for the CB states by June 30, 2013 Concepts to be applicable nationally Concepts to be applicable nationally

24 US Environmental Protection Agency 24 Reaching Out to Homeowners EPA’s next key initiative:

25 US Environmental Protection Agency 25 Challenges Out-of-sight, out-of-mind view by owners Burden on regulators -- new technologies, inspections, monitoring, record-keeping Need to overcome “stigma,” prejudices, poor track record of past No national standards Onsite program gets “no recognition”

26 US Environmental Protection Agency 26 Awareness Campaign Purpose Purpose Address impact of malfunctions by educating homeowners on proper maintenance and daily practicesAddress impact of malfunctions by educating homeowners on proper maintenance and daily practices Develop marketing/public awareness effort (with participation from the MOU Partners) to include possible initiatives such as:Develop marketing/public awareness effort (with participation from the MOU Partners) to include possible initiatives such as: Messages/products for homeowners, local decision makers, local boards of health Messages/products for homeowners, local decision makers, local boards of health Product distribution through service providers Product distribution through service providers Webcasts Webcasts Online resources for homeowners (eg: point-of-sale info) Online resources for homeowners (eg: point-of-sale info)

27 US Environmental Protection Agency 27 Program Logo and Mascot

28 US Environmental Protection Agency 28 Program Messaging SimpleSimple Easy to rememberEasy to remember Establish annual messaging cueEstablish annual messaging cue Septic awareness month Septic awareness month Action orientedAction oriented “Think at the Sink”; “Don’t Strain your Drain”; “Don’t be a Septic Skeptic” “Think at the Sink”; “Don’t Strain your Drain”; “Don’t be a Septic Skeptic”

29 US Environmental Protection Agency 29


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