SF winter 95 by ajizai


									                                                                                                                                                                  Volume 9
                                                                                                                                                                  Number 1
 Gloucester first to construct onsite project alternatives                                                                                                        Winter 1995

         by Nancy Gover

                                                                                                                                                           Small Flows
        Small Flows Editor

 Gloucester, Massachusetts, is an
 old fishing port located about 40
 miles north of Boston. The com-
 munity is perched on bedrock with
 exceptionally shallow soils. For
 years onsite systems in its northern
 end have presented wastewater
 treatment and disposal problems.

 Over the years, North Gloucester’s
 failing septic systems have leaked
 effluent directly into the ocean.
 High levels of fecal coliform in
 the surrounding waters resulted in
 closing of the area’s shellfishing
 beds in the late 1970s. The
 community is currently under a
 consent decree to comply with
 federal and state water quality
 standards by 1999.

 There was an earlier attempt to
                                        Gloucester Mayor Bruce Tobey (from left), City Engineer William Robertson, P.E., and Gloucester
 extend sewer pipes to North
                                        resident Frank Garrison examine a recirculating trickling filter prior to its installation at one of three
 Gloucester from a treatment
                                        onsite demonstration sites in the Massachusetts community. Photo courtesy Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., P.E.
 plant located on the other side of
 town. However, this effort halted      In November 1994, North                According to Anish Jantrania,          Jantrania explains that some of
 when the Federal Construction          Gloucester became the first of         Ph.D., P.E., in-house consulting       Gloucester’s more vocal residents
 Grants Program was phased out          seven communities nationwide to        engineer for the city of Gloucester,   are not pleased with the alterna-
 in the 1980s.                          complete construction of onsite        this increases the number of viable    tives to central sewering, primarily
                                        wastewater systems as part of the      options available to Gloucester’s      because they see little difference in
 But the road to a solution may be      National Onsite Demonstration          homeowners and may lessen the          price. He says installation for the
 close at hand. In 1993, Gloucester     Project (NODP).                        need for sewers.                       demonstration systems is $10,000
 obtained a modification of its                                                                                       to $15,000, versus $15,000 to
 consent decree that would allow        The NODP provides grants and           The National Small Flows Clear-        $20,000 for central sewering.
 North Gloucester to experiment         other assistance for participating     inghouse (NSFC) is coordinating
 with alternatives other than central   communities to help them identify,     the NODP project under a $1.5          However, he points out that the
 sewering. This marked the first        install, and monitor proven alterna-   million cooperative agreement          real cost savings for Gloucester’s
 time that widespread use of            tive systems in the hopes of finding   with the U.S. Environmental Pro-       onsite systems will be realized
 alternatives was considered for        those that best meet their needs,      tection Agency (EPA).
 further evaluation in Massachusetts.   while remaining cost-effective.                                               Continued on page 2

 ETI promotes use, development of innovative technologies
          by Kevin Wilcox           1993. ETI seeks to speed the               “Its goal is to spur the develop-      Under the Construction Grants
         NSFC Staff Writer          development of innovative                  ment and use of innovative             Program, money was set aside to
                                    environmental technologies                 environmental technologies to          promote innovative and alternative
 New, innovative wastewater treat- through a funding program. These            protect the environment and            wastewater treatment systems.
 ment technologies could be finding new technologies can then be               enhance the competitiveness of the     As the Construction Grant
 their way into small communities   marketed in the U.S. and in other          U.S. environmental technology          Program was phased out in the late
 around the country thanks to a new parts of the world.                        industry,” Browner continued.          1980s in favor of establishing the
 program from the U.S. Environ-                                                                                       State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan
 mental Protection Agency (EPA).    “ETI is rooted in the President’s          Exciting times for wastewater          program, the set aside funding
                                    commitment to the proposition              The ETI program promises to            was also phased out.
 The Environmental Technology       that economic development and              bring the development of new
 Initiative (ETI) was announced in  environmental protection go hand           wastewater treatment technologies, “Quite a few innovative and
 President Bill Clinton’s State of  in hand,” said EPA Administrator           because several projects in the    alternative technologies were
 the Union address February 17,     Carol Browner.                             field have been funded.            funded under the Construction
                                                                                                                  Grants Program,” Hudson said.
                                                                               According to Joyce Hudson,         “When the funding stopped, that

                                                                               environmental engineer with        momentum died. There was no
                                                                                                                                                                               L   SMALL
                                                                               EPA’s municipal technology         catalyst for development of waste-                        NA


                                                                               branch and an ETI committee        water treatment technology.
                                                                                                                                                                  NAT I


                                                                               member, ETI represents the first   “We’re excited by ETI,” Hudson
                                                                               time since the early 1980s that    added. “We received more than


                                                                               research and development in        1,700 proposals for all topic areas                         R IN GHOU

                                                                               alternative wastewater treatment   for 1995. We’re eager to see what               Helping
                                                                               technologies has had a catalyst.   will develop from these projects.”              America's small
                                                                                                                                                                  communities meet
   Environmental Technology Initiative                                                                                Continued on page 5                         their wastewater
WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                                1
                 Gloucester first to construct onsite project alternatives
                 Continued from page 1

                 after installation and will occur
                 over the long haul. “The systems
                 will cut operational fees by half,”
                 explains Jantrania.

                 He emphasizes there are long-term
                 environmental advantages to be
                 considered also. At present, the
                 treatment plant that serves 40
                 percent of Gloucester’s residents
                 provides only primary treatment
                 (settling out solids) before
                 pumping the effluent through an
                 outfall pipe directly into
                 Massachusetts Bay.

                 Fecal coliforms are of particular
                 concern in Gloucester as well as in
                 other coastal areas. If high levels
                 of fecal coliform appear in coastal
                 waters, valuable shellfishing beds
                 and public beaches are threatened.

                 A delicate situation                     The high-rate intermittent sand filter’s distribution network is covered with a layer of gravel.
                 Gloucester’s experimental area is        Photo courtesy Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., P.E.
                 made up of the communities of
                 Lanesville, Bay View, Riverview,         North Gloucester also contains        Gloucester’s proximity to              shallow, “gravelless” disposal
                 and part of Annisquam. All are           wetlands, ponds, areas of high        wetlands, the ocean, and other         trenches for subsurface disposal.
                 located along the Atlantic coast         groundwater, and a public water       environmentally sensitive areas
                 on Cape Ann in northeastern              supply reservoir. In addition, some   means that its onsite systems must     The system employed at
                 Massachusetts. The area to be            of the homes are served by private    reduce nitrate or pathogens, or        Gloucester is a high-rate intermit-
                 served contains about 800 homes.         wells. All these conditions compli-   both, says Katz.                       tent sand filter, Jantrania explains,
                                                          cate matters because consideration                                           meaning that the surface area of
                 What makes Gloucester’s situation        must be given both to preservation    She explains that in areas where       the sand filter itself is very small
                 especially delicate is that it has not   of groundwater quality and preven-    groundwater is as shallow as           (in this case, 10 feet by 10 feet)
                 one, but several environmental           tion of coastal contamination.        Gloucester’s, the septic tank          and effluent is pumped into it
                 concerns. Foremost among them,                                                 effluent requires further treatment.   (dosed) every hour and a half at
                 according to Ellen Katz, wastewa-        Gloucester’s new demonstration        In addition, many of Gloucester’s      relatively high rates, about 3.5
                 ter engineering coordinator, is          systems replace failing septic        small lots require that the septic     gallons per day (gpd) per square
                 shallow soils. She points out that       systems on three residential          tank effluent must be treated to       foot. The high rate of dosing helps
                 while the law requires a four-foot       sites. Basically they are             a very high quality before disposal    reduce the area required to
                 separation distance from ground-         variations on a standard septic       to reduce the area required for        install the system. The shallow,
                 water or bedrock, only about 25          system with innovative additions      a drainfield.                          “gravelless” drainfield is also
                 percent of North Gloucester’s            that address Gloucester’s unique                                             relatively compact and inexpensive
                 homes can meet that requirement.         environmental sensitivities.          Another consideration was cost.        to install, he explains.
                                                                                                Katz emphasizes that systems
                                                                                                allowing shallow or above-ground       The trickling filter system is a
                                                                                                installation were used where           modification to an existing septic
                                                                                                possible to keep costs down. This      tank for removal of nitrogen. Like
                                                                                                is especially important in an area     the sand filter, it is appropriate for
                                                                                                that is rocky, because rock removal    areas near surface waters that are
                                                                                                is so expensive, adds Katz.            sensitive to nitrogen and have
                                                                                                                                       space limitations. It is combined
                                                                                                The demonstration systems              with a shallow sand-lined trench
                                                                                                The innovative systems selected        for subsurface disposal. Trench
                                                                                                for use in the Gloucester portion of   dimensions are 65 feet by five feet
                                                                                                the NODP were septic systems           with 10 inches of sand and six
                                                                                                paired with a sand filter, a           inches of gravel.
                                                                                                trickling filter, or a synthetic foam
                                                                                                bio-filter. All replaced existing     The pump in the septic tank
                                                                                                failed cesspools at the three         recycles water through the
                                                                                                residential sites.                    trickling filter for biochemical
                                                                                                                                      oxygen demand (BOD) and
                                                                                                Sand filters are appropriate for      nitrogen removal, and then back
                                                                                                areas sensitive to nitrogen and for   into the septic tank.
                                                                                                small lots, explains Jantrania.
                                                                                                Effluent flows from the septic tank One of the advantages of the
                                                                                                into a two-foot layer of sand         trickling filter, points out Jantrania,
                                                                                                (the sand filter) and then into
                                                                                                                                       Continued on page 3

             2                                                                                                                                    S M A L L       F L O W S
 Continued from page 2                   costs of this pilot study were        and in particular to the assistance     components, including BOD, total
                                         much higher than expected.            provided by William Robertson,          suspended solids (TSS), ammonia,
 is that it can be retrofitted to an                                           P.E., city engineer; Jantrania; and     nitrate, and pathogens. The
 existing septic tank. The filter fits   Costs were high due to construc-      the city’s engineering staff.           monitoring program will also
 into a riser above the septic tank      tion delays, the billing process                                              include data about water use.
 inlet manhole.                          utilized, and other factors related   Under Robertson’s direction, the
                                         to the contractors’ unfamiliarity     city took full responsibility for       After data collection is complete,
 The synthetic foam bio-filter           with the systems. “All four           technical guidance and supervision      Jantrania says the next step will be
 works in much the same way as a         systems were bid as a package and     of the construction. To prevent         to compile it. The resulting report
 sand filter, but it can be installed    required contractors to provide       construction delays, Gloucester         will summarize each system’s
 above ground inside a small,            performance bonds, which              bought all the materials ahead of       operating conditions and
 six-foot by six-foot “garden shed”      discouraged smaller contractors       time so they would be ready when        performance data. It will also
 structure, says Jantrania. This         from bidding,” she says. Katz         needed at the construction sites.       include information on the cost of
 results in an additional savings in     points out that
 terms of both installation costs and    construction
 space. The synthetic foam bio-filter    delays and other
 is especially well-suited for use on    problems due to
 small lots and in shallow soils or      the contractor’s
 where the groundwater is high.          unfamiliarity
 The system uses a conventional          with the systems
 gravity-fed trench for disposal.        are common
 Prior pilot study                       alternative
 Prior to participating in the NODP,     systems are still
 Gloucester funded a pilot study to      a relative rarity
 determine if onsite systems could       throughout
 treat septic tank effluent to a         the U.S.
 degree that would allow it to be
 discharged safely into Gloucester’s NOPD
 shallow soils, and to see if it could construction
 be done at an affordable cost.        success                                 Gloucester’s involvement                the systems and what the
                                       Due to lessons learned during this      extended to providing day-to-day        homeowners thought of them.
 The pilot study involved installing pilot phase, the city has been            management and technical
 and monitoring two package            careful to include in the NODP a        assistance to contractors at            For example, the homeowners will
 treatment systems and two             training component for local            the work sites. When compared to        be asked if there was any odor, or
 recirculating sand filters, one that  contractors. Katz explains separate     resources used for the pilot project,   if installation of the systems
 discharged into a gravelless          contractors were hired to install       Gloucester’s direct approach            limited the use of their property or
 drainfield, and another that utilized each of the three systems in order      resulted in a tremendous savings        proved to be intrusive in any way,
 a pressure-dosed leachfield. This     to develop a base of knowledge          in both time and money. Katz            says Jantrania.
 study began in April 1994             within Gloucester. Other contrac-       explains that it pared construction
 and will end this spring.             tors and regulators were invited to     time down to only six days per          Once the report is complete, it will
                                       the sites during construction to        site, and costs were reduced from       be submitted to the state, which
 The results of the pilot study were help extend that knowledge base,          more than $45,000 to about              will then rule on whether to accept
 positive in several respects, Katz    she explains.                           $15,000 per site.                       the technology, he continues.
 explains. The effluent quality was
 very good. All of the systems         Gloucester’s experiences during         The city also realized a large          Jantrania emphasizes that by being
 performed within acceptable           the pilot phase also helped the city    savings by managing the construc-       the first in Massachusetts to make
 legal limits.                         streamline the NODP construction        tion sites rather than contracting      use of these innovative and
                                       process. As Katz says, the NODP         the work to an outside firm. The        alternative onsite technologies
 The city also gained an under-        system construction came in ahead       cost of construction management         within the established regulatory
 standing of the need for contractor of schedule and under budget.             was brought down from $15,000           framework, Gloucester hopes to
 training. However, Katz says that     She attributes this success to          per site during the pilot phase to      serve as a model for other
                                       Gloucester’s hands-on approach,         less than $1,000 per site for the       communities looking for low-cost
                                                                               NODP, according to Katz.                alternatives to central sewering.

                                                                               Monitoring                              For further information about the
                                                                               Monitoring of the NODP systems          Gloucester portion of the National
                                                                               began in January 1995 and will          Onsite Demonstration Project,
                                                                               continue for 12 months. Samples         contact Katz or Jantrania at
                                                                               will be taken from the three            (508) 281-9773.
                                                                               residential sites. The wastewater
                                                                               will be examined before and after       For more information about the
                                                                               it enters the systems.                  other six NODP sites, see the
                                                                                                                       related article on page 4. An
                                                                               Groundwater will be monitored           NODP brochure is also available
                                                                               by looking at samples taken from        free from the NSFC. See the re-
                                                                               monitoring wells located uphill         lated article in the box on page 4.
                                                                               and downhill from each treatment
                                                                               system’s disposal field. Jantrania      You may order a brochure or obtain
                                                                               says that samples collected during      additional information about the
 Construction workers prepare a foundation for the shed-like                   monitoring will be analyzed for a       NODP by calling the NSFC’s toll-
 structure that will house the synthetic foam bio-filter.                      number of chemical and biological       free number 1-800-624-8301.
 Photo courtesy of Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., P.E.
WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                                3
              NODP communities demonstrate alternatives                                                                              New brochure provides
                                                                                                                                    more information on NODP
                       by Nancy Gover                resort area are restrictions caused    contour system, a low-pressure
                      Small Flows Editor             by numerous lakes, small lots,         dosed system, a gravelless trench
                                                                                                                                    What role does the
                                                     sandy soils, and seasonal              system, and drip soil absorption        National Small Flows
              Editor’s Note: The National Onsite     fluctuations in population.            systems. They also may include          Clearinghouse (NSFC)
              Demonstration Project (NODP),          The community also wishes to           waterless toilets, a recirculating
              is providing grants and other          address the problem of                 sand filter, a constructed wetland,
                                                                                                                                    play in the National
              assistance for seven communities       phosphorus loading.                    and home aeration units.                Onsite Demonstration
              to help them identify, install, and                                                                                   Project (NODP)?
                                                                                            The educational component of
                                                                                            the project will include exhibits
                                                                                                                                    What is the project’s
                                                                                            and interpretative programs             objective? How were
                                                                                            intended to educate park visitors,      the participating
                                                                                            school children, professionals,
                                                                                            and state regulatory officials.
                                                                                                                                    communities selected?

                                                                                            Paradise, California                    The answers to these
                                                                                            Chief among the environmental
                                                                                            concerns of this community is
                                                                                                                                    questions and more are
                                                                                            removal of nitrates and pathogens       included in a new
                                                                                            through soil absorption in order to     brochure available
                                                                                            meet stringent state standards for
                                                                                            groundwater protection.
                                                                                                                                    from the NSFC. It also
                                                                                                                                    contains information
                                                                                            The NODP will use a variety of          about the NSFC
              monitor alternative wastewater         Benzie County will first assess the    methods to help meet these
              treatment systems. (See map for        actual extent of its phosphorus        standards, including sand filter
                                                                                                                                    staff members who
              site locations.)                       loading. It also will install and      pretreatment. It will also develop      coordinate the project
                                                     monitor sand filters and drip          monitoring methods to determine         and the names of
              The NODP’s recent progress in          irrigation systems, including sev-     the efficiency of treatment that
              Gloucester, Massachusetts, is          eral with an iron-bearing medium       occurs in subsurface absorption
              described on page 1. The six           designed to remove phosphorus.         trenches of different dimensions        wastewater experts who
              remaining NODP communities,                                                   and depths, and develop a               provide technical

              their environmental sensitivities,     Educational programs will              subsurface trench design that
              and the demonstration systems          target regional sanitarians and        maximizes removal of nitrogen
              they chose to address them are         system installers.                     and pathogens.
              profiled below. Each community’s                                                                                      You will read more
              NODP plan also includes an             Dorchester County, Maryland            Paradise’s plan for public
              educational component.                 Dorchester County is restricted by     education involves obtaining
                                                                                                                                    about the NOPD in
                                                     a high groundwater table, sandy        the assistance of secondary             future articles in Small
              Anne Arundel                           soils, and saturated soils. The        school students and undergraduate       Flows. But if you want
              County, Maryland                       community is concerned with            engineering students who will
              The chief environmental                controlling nutrient and pathogen      help monitor and test the
                                                                                                                                    more information right
              consideration in this community        input, and with other factors that     demonstration systems.                  away, call our toll-free
              is controlling and preventing          affect the Chesapeake Bay’s                                                    number 1-800-624-8301
              pollution of the Chesapeake Bay        water quality.                       Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts
              and its shoreline. Improvement in                                           Waquoit Bay’s chief concerns are
                                                                                                                                    and order the free
              wastewater treatment will be aimed      The NODP will install and monitor removing nutrients and dealing              NODP brochure.
              at reducing the amount of nitrogen,     a recirculating sand filter, a drip with its highly permeable soils.
              phosphorus, and pathogens.              irrigation system, and constructed
                                                      wetlands. Part of the project will  The NODP in Waquoit Bay will
              The National Onsite Demonstration be devoted to the monitoring of           demonstrate several different
              Project (NODP) will evaluate all        existing bermed infiltration ponds  filtration methods in combination
              existing recirculating sand filters in and sand-lined trenches.             with individual septic tanks,
              the Anne Arundel County area, and                                           including recirculating sand filters,
              publish a report containing results     Related public education efforts    synthetic foam filters, trickling
              of the evaluation. It also will install will target county and local        filters, and peat filters. It also will
              and monitor a number of alterna-        officials with similar wastewater   evaluate the efficacy of shallow
              tive wastewater treatment methods, concerns throughout Maryland’s           absorption trenches.
              including a recirculating sand filter, eastern shore.
              a peat filter, and a trickling filter                                       Waquoit Bay’s educational
              designed for use with a septic tank. Monongalia County,                     programs will target local offi-
              It will install and monitor a drip      West Virginia                       cials and design professionals.
              disposal system and a shallow           This community’s concerns are
              pressure-dosed disposal system.         shallow and impermeable soils       Future issues of Small
                                                      and regulatory considerations that  Flows will report on NODP
              Anne Arundel County’s public            currently limit extensive use of    progress in these communi-
              education will focus on developing alternative onsite systems.              ties. For more information
              presentations for public health                                             about the NODP, order the
              sanitarians and contractors.            The project will involve the        brochure described here
                                                      demonstration of several wastewa- or call the NSFC’s
              Benzie County, Michigan                 ter treatment methods at a county   toll-free number
              Chief among the concerns of this        park. Proposed methods include a    1-800- 624-8301.

          4                                                                                                                               S M A L L   F L O W S
 ETI promotes use, development of innovative technologies
 Continued from page 1                “The panel looks to see if this type                           • Environmental Technologies,     environmental management
                                      of project is technically feasible                             • Pollution Prevention            responsibilities
 The U.S. Congress appropriated       and if it’s already being done,”                                 Technologies,                   often drive the
 $36 million for ETI in fiscal year   Hudson said. “We want to fund                                  • Domestic Diffusion, and         demand for
 1994. The average ETI project        new projects.”                                                 • International Diffusion.        environmental
 was awarded $300,000 in fiscal                                                                                                        technologies,         “
                                                                                                                                                             ETI is rooted in
 year 1994, with projects ranging    Once the projects pass the expert                               Project criteria                  goods, and             the President's
 from $50,000 to $2 million. The     panel, they are returned to the                                                                   services,” Browner
                                                                                                     There are both general and specific
 awards for fiscal year 1995 are     committee, which then awards                                    criteria that help decide which   said in a letter to commitment to the
 expected to be in the same range.   grants to the prioritized projects as                           ETI projects will receive funding.prospective ETI       proposition that
                                     funding allows. This grant money                                                                  participants.
                                                                                                     The criteria are designed to assure
 ETI was funded at $68 million for is then leveraged with other funds                                that funded projects feature
 fiscal year 1995. President Clinton by the recipients.                                              cooperation, clearly stated          “Working together         development and
 has requested more funding for                                                                      objectives, and results produced     through this                environmental
 fiscal year 1996, but with the      The two remaining requests for                                  in a timely manner.                  program, we can
 changing political climate in       proposals will be issued early in                                                                    create a regulatory         protection go
 Washington, things are still up in
 the air.
                                     1995. The first will go to nonprofit
                                     organizations. The second,
                                                                                                     “It is imperative that ETI funds be atmosphere
                                                                                                     spent with an eye on being able to that nurtures
                                                                                                                                                                      hand in hand. ”
                                     probably in early spring, will go to                            track and measure success—that       innovation, creates            Carol Browner
                                                                                                                                                                      EPA Administrator
 Three requests for proposals small businesses. Both of these                                        is, for each project to truly make a jobs, and protects
 Project proposals have been         groups anticipate a $5 million                                  difference in the field of environ-  the environment,”
 accepted from federal, state, and   set aside in the 1995 ETI program.                              mental technology,” the request      Browner continued.
 tribal agencies for 1995 ETI                                                                        for proposals states.
 projects. Later, proposals will     Six topic areas                                                                                      For more information, or if you
 be accepted from nonprofit          There are six topic areas, each with                            “The EPA, federal agencies,          would like to apply for funding,
 organizations and small             a specific objective, for 1995 ETI                              states, and tribes are in a unique   contact the Environmental Tech-
 businesses. Proposals must be       projects. They include:                                         position to support environmental    nology Initiative at EPA's Office of
 approved by an EPA committee         • Policy Framework,                                            technology innovation because        Policy, Planning, and Evaluation
 and then by an expert panel.         • Innovation Capacity,                                         our legislative authorities and      at (202) 260-2686.

                                               WA N TED
         Do you or your company provide services or                                                      The NSFC is also currently seeking information
         produce equipment and/or supplies for small                                                     from companies or nurseries that supply aquatic
         flows wastewater systems? If so, the National                                                   plants for use in ponds, lagoons, and constructed
         Small Flows Clearinghouse (NSFC) would like                                                     wetlands. These include duckweed, bullrushes,
         more information about your company for our                                                     hyacinths, and cattails.
         Manufacturers and Consultants Database.
                                                                                                         If you would like your company to be included in
         The Manufacturers and Consultants Database is a                                                 the Manufacturers and Consultants Database,
         computer listing of companies that can be sorted                                                please give us a call at 1-800-624-8301 and ask
         according to specific criteria. It allows us to                                                 for Todd Olson.
         produce a list of products and services tailor-
         made to the precise needs of individual requests                                                If you are looking for wastewater equipment and
         received over our toll-free national hotline.                                                   services such as those listed above, please call us
                                                                                                         and ask for a member of the technical services
         Typical database entries include:                                                                                staff, who will search the
         • engineers and other                                                                                            database for you.
         consultants who work with or                       File Edit View Element Type Attributes

         specialize in planning, design,                                                                                   The search itself is absolutely
         coordination or construction of                                                                                   free. We charge $.10 per page for
         small community or individual                                                                                     a printout. A complete database
         onsite wastewater treatment s                                                                                     listing, containing approximately
         ystems; and/or                                                                                                    1500 entries is also available for
                                                                                                                           $36.10. Just call our toll-free
         • companies that produce the                                                                                      number and order item
         equipment and supplies (pumps,                                                                                    #WWPCCM16.
         filters, septic tanks, etc.) used
         in the construction of small
         and onsite wastewater
         treatment systems.

WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                                           5
                  Ten steps assist in selecting, working with engineer
                         by George A. Chimiklis, Senior Environmental Specialist,                 circuit riders, the National Small Flows Clearinghouse (NSFC), and
                           and Jeff Tracey, Environmental Assistance Specialist,                  regional offices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
                            Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC)
                                                                                                  Step 3 — Brainstorm alternatives
                  Editor’s Note: The following article by the Rural Community Assistance          Start by thinking of as many ways as possible to solve the problem.
                  Corporation's (RCAC) George Chimiklis and Jeff Tracey is reprinted              Use the following questions to help you think about solutions:
                  from Volume 12, Number 3 of the Pacific Mountain Review, RCAC’s                  • What would be the best solution if money were no object?
                  rural development journal. This ten-step approach to seeking                     • What would be the least expensive way to solve the problem?
                  and selecting an engineer was adapted from training provided by                  • How many years will the solution last?
                  RCAC and other Rural Community Assistance Programs (RCAP).                       • Can we break the solution down into a series of affordable steps
                                                                                                     or is it better to do it all at once?
                  Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) recently concluded a               • If the solution is so technical that we don’t understand it,
                  training session on the community facilities development process for local         how will we be able to operate and maintain it?
                  officials and community leaders in southern New Mexico. I asked those            • Can we do all or part of the work ourselves?
                  attending for their comments on our day-long training. From the back of
                  the room, a man rose and identified himself as a consulting engineer.           Also consider the following:
                                                                                                   • How much would our customers, and our neighbors, be willing to
                  “I listened closely to what you said on how to hire an engineer,” he               pay for service?
                  began. “And I can say this—I sure wish you had been around to train              • Can we afford to pay for the facility ourselves?
                  some of the communities I’ve worked with. It would have made my job              • If we need to borrow money, where can we borrow it?
                  so much easier if the local boards had known what they wanted before
                  they hired me.”                                                                 It’s very important to have a sense of what you can afford and what you’re
                                                                                                  willing to pay for the facility before you hire an engineer. Like asking a
                  The situation this individual was referring to happens all too often in         stranger to buy a car for you, if you can’t give the engineer some idea of
                  communities. A question comes up, and the first response is “Ask the            what you can afford, you may get a Cadillac solution when you can only
                  consultant.” A consultant, however, can only design and propose solutions       afford a Chevrolet!
                  based on available information. It is the community that will have to live
                  with, and pay for, whatever solution is ultimately selected.                    Once you’ve identified your problem, have some ideas about alternative
                                                                                                  solutions to consider, and a sense of what you can afford, you’re ready to
                  If there ever was a time of “cheap money” and government grants, it is          start selecting a consulting engineer.
                  now over for most communities. Today, infrastructure projects (roads,
                  water, wastewater systems, and more) are too expensive to leave solely to       The selection process
                  technical experts. Community leaders and their employees must insist that       Before beginning the search for an engineer, you may want to create a
                  any consultant work closely with them to ensure the final project is a good     selection committee of three people who will guide the selection process.
                  match with the community’s resources, priorities, and ability to maintain       If you think you’ll be seeking financing through a federal or state agency,
                  them over the expected life of the facility.                                    contact that agency before you begin the selection process to learn that
                                                                                                  agency’s requirements.
                  Ten steps to successful consultant hiring
                  Communities that have hired consultants sometimes report bad experi-            Step 4 — Write out exactly what you want the engineer to do
                  ences. The following recommendations are common sense approaches to             Generally, you’ll need an engineer to:
                  help avoid those bad experiences in the future. There are two major com-         • prepare a preliminary engineering report examining various
                  ponents that guide the consultant hiring process: preliminary planning and         approaches to solving your problem;
                  the selection process. These two components are divided into 10 steps.           • recommend the best solution—taking into account your
                                                                                                     stated financial limitations;
                  Preliminary planning                                                             • prepare a cost estimate;
                  Step 1 — Defining the problem as a problem                                       • possibly help you submit applications for financing;
                  Sometimes a mistake is made by defining problems in terms of a particu-          • do final design and construction drawings, and provide construction
                  lar solution or technology. For example, in the mid-1980’s, Donald,                inspection services once suitable financing is secured.
                  Oregon had an outbreak of waterborne diseases due to sewage contamina-
                  tion of its water system. This led to a state health order requiring the town   Step 5 — Make a list of possible engineering firms
                  to replace its water system and install a new sewage treatment system.          Make a list of at least five engineering firms that might be able to meet
                                                                                                  your community’s needs. Contact your state regulatory agency or the
                  Had they defined their problem in terms of a solution, they might have          Rural Utilities Service (RUS), formerly the RDA, office in your state
                  stated, “Our town has a contamination problem. We need to find a way            and ask for names of firms that have experience with problems of
                  of addressing it.” Instead, they set out to replace an existing conventional    communities your size. If you are aware of nearby communities that have
                  system with another, similar one. The city hired an engineer to design a        resolved a similar problem, ask for the names of engineering firm(s) they
                  replacement, but the proposed system proved too expensive.                      have employed previously. This is especially important if you’re looking
                                                                                                  at some new or alternative technologies.
                  An RCAC engineer later reviewed the proposal and determined that the
                  proposed system was inappropriate due to the area’s high groundwater            Step 6 — Contact all the firms on your list
                  table. He recommended installing septic tanks with shallow lines and            Let them know you’re interested in contracting for engineering services
                  using septic tank effluent pumps to move the wastewater to a lagoon             and that you’d like to receive a proposal from them outlining their
                  containment area. The lower-cost alternative system was later approved          qualifications. Again, if you plan to use state or federal money, check with
                  and installed.                                                                  the funding agency to see if they have any special requirements relating
                                                                                                  to securing engineering services.
                  Expressing the problem as a problem opens the process to thinking
                  of alternative ways to solve it.                                                A standard request for proposal (RFP) should be developed that can be
                                                                                                  publicized and sent to engineering firms. Sample RFPs can be obtained
                  Step 2 — Gather pertinent information                                           from several sources. Minimum information should include:
                  Often the best solution is a combination of several alternatives. Informa-       • the size of community to be served, usually defined as number
                  tion on these alternatives is available from a variety of sources, including       of households or customers;
                  the regional Rural Community Assistance Programs (RCAPs), rural water
                                                                                                  Continued on page 7

              6                                                                                                                                    S M A L L       F L O W S
 Continued from page 6                                                           • What other projects are you currently working on that could
  • the potential sources of funding;                                              take time away from our project?
  • a deadline for proposals; and                                                • Is the engineer willing to attend public meetings and discuss the
  • an address to send proposals to and whom to contact (phone)                    project with customers?
    to answer questions.
                                                                                Each selection committee member should have a set of questions available
 You should identify the information required in each proposal,                 for each interview, with space provided after each question. This way,
 which should include:                                                          selection committee members can jot notes of that firm’s response and be
  • prior experience with this kind of project;                                 able to recall critical points if the interviews take place over several days.
  • references from each project, including name, address, contact              A simple (+), (0), (-) rating of the firm’s response to each question will
    person and phone numbers;                                                   also help during the selection process, with (+) indicating fully satisfied
  • a listing of the firm’s qualifications, by staff person;                    with answer; (0) indicating neutral response; and (-) indicating not fully
  • options open to the community for funding the project; and                  satisifed with answer.
  • experience with alternative systems appropriate for
    communities of your size.                                                   Step 10 — Make your final selection
                                                                                After all interviews have been conducted, have your selection committee
 Finally, you should identify how the selection will be made:                   evaluate all of the information that has been gathered. Discuss the pros
  • past experience with this kind of project;                                  and cons of each firm, comparing information obtained during interviews
  • favorable recommendations of previous employers;                            along with the original proposal and reference checks. Your goal is to
  • experience in working with state and federal funding programs;              select the firm you believe will do the best job of solving your
  • capability to meet time schedules and project budget requirements;          community’s problem. Do this by having members of the selection com-
  • willingness to work with community leaders in developing a list of          mittee rank the firms privately, adding up the plus signs and circling the
    potential solutions; and/or                                                 responses that were most convincing to them. Then discuss each firm with
  • willingness to contract using the (funding) agency’s                        committee members, taking turns discussing their rating and key points.
    standard contract and fee schedule.                                         For example, one committee member may choose a firm because it was
                                                                                eager to support the project by attending public meetings to describe the
 Step 7 — Select five engineering firms submitting proposals                    project to the community. Another may question whether this firm has too
 Have the selection committee members review the proposals                      many current projects to give your community the assistance it needs.
 independently against the selection criteria stated in your RFP and            These concerns should balance out after hearing all comments, and a
 select the top firms for reference checks. This will be your shortlist         consensus should emerge. If the committee deadlocks on two firms,
 and should not exceed five firms.                                              two or three new questions can be developed as a tie-breaker with a
                                                                                follow-up interview.
 Step 8 — Check references of your committee’s top choices
 Contact communities that are listed as references, and don’t be afraid         As soon as possible, sit down and negotiate a contract and payment
 to ask tough questions. Some examples are:                                     schedule with the selected firm. If you will be financing the project
  • Were you satisfied with the quality of work?                                through state or federal sources, the financing agency can probably make
  • Was the firm able to meet the deadlines and schedules agreed upon           this easy for you with a standard engineering contract and fee schedule
    in your contract?                                                           you can use to complete this step.
  • Was the engineer willing and able to work closely with your community?
  • Did the project stay within the budget, or were there unexpected costs?     If you’re not able to negotiate a satisfactory contract, notify your top
  • Did you have any problems that would keep you from hiring                   selection in writing that you are breaking off negotiations, and begin
    the firm again?                                                             negotiations with your second choice. Once you’ve reached a satisfactory
  • Did the engineering firm or consultant have other projects that             agreement, notify all other firms that you have completed a contract with
    caused time delays on your project?                                         the firm you’ve selected.

 Step 9 — Set up interviews                                                     At a minimum, contracts should set out a clear understanding of the
 Once you’ve prescreened the proposals and checked references, you may          engineering services to be provided, a timetable for completion of the
 be able to further narrow your list; if so, aim for three firms. Set up        engineering, and a price for services and a payment schedule stating when
 face-to-face interviews with each remaining firm. Allow enough time for        you’ll pay. The reasonableness of the engineer’s proposed fees can be
 each interview, about one hour. Set limits for the engineer’s presentation     checked with organizations like the Professional Engineers’ Council or
 so your committee has plenty of time to ask questions. Require that the        your state RUS office. Tie your proposed payments to the completion of
 engineer who will be assigned to your project participate in the interview.    tasks, such as the completion and acceptance of a preliminary engineering
                                                                                report or state approval of final design. If borrowing RUS funds, ask the
 Use the interview to talk with each firm about your problem and                engineer to accept payment for the preliminary design report when the
 strategy for solving it. Let them know what the financial limits of your       project is funded.
 community are, and make sure they understand that you’re concerned
 with the long-term operating costs, not just the initial capital costs.        Regardless of a community’s
                                                                                size, there are a number of
 Prepare a list of questions in advance, and ask each firm the same             organizations available to
 questions. Some examples are:                                                  help. With patience,
  • What experience does your firm have with a project like ours?               and some research, com-
  • Are you willing to look at innovative and/or alternative designs            munity officials can
    that are reliable?                                                          get the assistance
  • Are there specific itemized services you don’t provide?                     they need to plan
  • Are you familiar with various funding agencies?                             and successfully
  • Has your firm assisted with applications?                                   develop
  • What has your experience been in working with funding agencies?             community
  • What is the success rate of those applications?                             facilities.
  • Is the firm willing to enter into a fixed-cost, “not-to-exceed” contract,
    or is it in accord with the funding agency’s fee schedule?
  • Who, specifically, in your firm will be working directly with our
    board (or council)?

WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                                   7
                                             NSFC offers guide to wastewater and                                                                                                                                                                                                Financial management is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   EPA seminar topic
                                             water budgeting for utility managers                                                                                                                                                                                               A one-day financial
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Other topics covered in the booklet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                management training
                                                                 Running a                                                                                                                        with little or no accounting
                                                                                                                                                                                                  experience plan and develop an         include tips on how to market the      seminar, “Tools for Suc-
                                                                                                                                                                                                  annual budget.                         budget to the community, how to        cess,” will be held at six
                                                                 water and
                                                                  wastewater                                                                                                                                                             make the most of public hearings,      locations throughout the
                                                                   system is a full-                                                                                                              The booklet presents basic finan-      and how to measure the efficiency      U.S. in March and April.
                                                                   time job, but                                                                                                                  cial concepts and practical strate-    of the budget once it is approved.     Sponsored by the U.S.
                                                                    utility manag-                                                                                                                gies for budgeting that are easy to    Additional sources offering help or    Environmental Protec-
                                                                    ers are often                                                                                                                 understand and use. The lesson         information for the utility manager    tion Agency (EPA), the
                                                                    given the                                                                                                                     begins with a discussion of the        are listed throughout the booklet.     seminar is designed for
                                                                     additional                                                                                                                   importance of accurate budgeting                                              utility managers, EPA
                                                                     responsibility                                                                                                               for water and wastewater systems.      The guide was prepared by the          and state compliance
                                                                     of developing                                                                                                                                                       U.S. Environmental Protection          people, and regulators
                                             an annual budget for the                                                                                                                             The probable sources of revenues       Agency and the University of           who make site visits.
                                             utility’s operations.                                                                                                                                and expenses are listed, and strate-   Tennessee’s Municipal Technical
                                                                                                                                                                                                  gies for estimating future costs are   Advisory Service. To order a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sponsored by the
                                             A new booklet, A Utility                                                                                                                             offered, including sample              copy, contact the NSFC toll-free at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1-800-624-8301, and order item
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                U.S. Environmental
                                             Manager’s Guide to Water and                                                                                                                         worksheets for tracking historical
                                                                                                                                                                                                  trends. Then, step-by-step instruc-    #FMBLFN13. The booklet is free.        Protection Agency
                                             Wastewater Budgeting, is now
                                                                                                                                                                                                  tions are given for projecting         Add $2 to cover shipping               (EPA), the seminars
                                             available from the National Small
                                             Flows Clearinghouse (NSFC). It is                                                                                                                    future revenues and expenses           and handling.                          focus on maintaining
                                             designed to help utility managers                                                                                                                    based on the information collected                                            the dynamic balance
                                                                                                                                                                                                  in the worksheets.                                                            between your utility’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                financial well-being
                                          New newsletter offers financial information                                                                                                                                                                                           and its ability to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                operate effectively and
                                             The National Drinking Water                                                                                                                          commissions; assistance                information for small                  maintain compliance.
                                             Clearinghouse (NDWC) has                                                                                                                             organizations; and others involved     communities. Water Sense is being
                                             launched a new quarterly                                                                                                                             in small community environmental       developed by Editor Laurie Klappauf    It will present important
                                             newsletter, Water Sense, to help                                                                                                                     projects, Water Sense will             and Staff Writer P.J. Cameon.          principles of financial
                                             small communities learn about                                                                                                                        include information about:                                                    management and explain
                                             different ways to finance their                                                                                                                       • funding sources;                    Readers are encouraged to offer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tools that you can use to
                                             drinking water projects. Many                                                                                                                         • funding source criteria;            story suggestions and share
                                                               of the same                                                                                                                                                               their knowledge and “real-life”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                evaluate your utility’s
                                                                                                                                 Financial Drinking
                                                                                                                                 Water News For
                                                                                                                                                                                                   • resources that provide
                                                                funding avenues
                                                                                                                                 America’s Small

                                                                                                                                                                                                      financing assistance;              experiences in water and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                financial health.
                                      Premier Issue
                                        Volume 1, Issue

      RDA Loan Prog
                                                                are applicable                                                                                                                     • news on legislation;                wastewater financing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Seminars will be held in
                                                                                                       help bridge
      Provides Fund                                                Despite various
                                                                                    groups' efforts to
                                                                                 spur Congress to
      Alternative                                              deifferences and

          by Diana Knott rogram Representative
          NDWC Editor/P
                                                                 to wastewater
                                                               the Safe Drinking
                                                               and House could
                                                                                  Water Act (SDWA)
                                                                                  not reach a comprom

                                                                                    nt and
                                                                                                       , the Senate
                                                                                                          ise before
                                                                                          8. In the end, provision
                                                                they adjourned October private property takings
                                                                                                                                                                                                   • cost-saving strategies; and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the following cities on
                                                  help bridge about risk assessme
                               groups' efforts to
               Despite various                 reauthorize the were still at issue.                       help bridge
                            spur Congress to                                          groups' efforts to
           deifferences and

           House could not
            adjourned October
            risk assessment
                                Act (SDWA), the
           Safe Drinking Water a compromise before they deifferences and spur

                            and private property
                                                   Senate and

                                                       s about
                               8. In the end, provision were the
                                                                     Despite various

                                                                     Safe Drinking Water
                                                                                         Congress to reauthori
                                                                                           Act (SDWA), the
                                                                                                                                        Despite various
                                                                                                                                        groups' efforts
                                                                                                                                        help bridge
                                                                                                                                                         to                                        • innovative financing                If you would like to receive a free
            still at issue.
                        Despite various
             bridge deifferen
                               ces and spur Congress (SDWA),
                                    Drinking Water
             reauthorize the Safe could not reach a
             the Senate and House adjourned October 8. In
                                          groups' efforts to


                                                                  as well.
                                                                                                                                        deifferences and
                                                                                                                                         spur Congress
                                                                                                                                         reauthorize the
                                                                                                                                         Safe Drinking
                                                                                                                                          Water Act (SDWA)
                                                                                                                                          the Senate   and

                                                                                                                                                              ,                                       mechanisms.                        subscription and/or send comments      these dates:
              compromise before                            nt and                                                                         House could not
                                    about risk assessme
                   end, provisions                                                                                                                a

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to Water Sense, please write to
              the                                    at issue.                                                                             reach
                                 takings were still
              private property                       help bridge                                                                           compromise before
                                 groups' efforts to                                                                                         they adjourned
               Despite various                        reauthorize the
                                  spur Congress to                                                                                          October 8. In the
               deifferences and                            Senate and
                                       Act (SDWA), the                                                                                            provisions
                Safe Drinking Water a compromise before they                                                                                 end,
                House could not                                s about
                adjourned October
                 risk assessment
                                      8. In the end, provision were
                                  and private property

                              r SRF Is Poss
                                                      ible Next Year to help bridge
                 Drinking Wateefforts to help bridge Despite various groups'
                       Despite various
                                         groups'              ces and spur Congress
                                                                                     to reauthorize the
                                                                                  deifferen         and
                                                                                                           Act (SDWA), the
                                                                                                                                                                                  Aimed at        The first issue was published as a     Editor, Water Sense, NDWC, West        • Nashville, Tennessee:
                                       spur Congress to                           Safe Drinking Water reach a compromise before
                  deifferences and
                  the Safe Drinking
                  and House could

                   about risk assessme
                    were still at issue.
                                        Water Act (SDWA),
                                        not reach a comprom
                   they adjourned October private property takings
                                          nt and
                                                               the Senate
                                                                ise before
                                                8. In the end, provision
                                                                                        House could not
                                                                                   they adjourned
                                                                                                     October 8. In the
                                                                                   about risk assessme
                                                                                    were still at issue.
                                                                                                         Despite various
                                                                                    to help bridge deifferen
                                                                                                                         end, provisions

                                                                                                          nt and private property efforts

                                                                                                                ces and spur Congress ,
                                                                                                                       Water Act (SDWA)
                                                                                               ze the Safe Drinking reach a compromise
                                                                                                                                                                                  local, state,   four-page insert in NDWC’s Fall        Virginia University, P.O. Box            March 20
                         Despite various
                     deifferences and
                                            groups' efforts to
                                         spur Congress
                                                                help bridge
                                                           to reauthorize
                                                                 , the Senate
                                                                                     the Senate and House October 8. In the end,
                                                                                     before they   adjourned
                                                                                                             could not

                                                                                                       risk assessment and
                                                                                                                              private property             AL
                                                                                                                                                                DRI NK ING
                                                                                                                                                                                  and federal     1994 issue of On Tap, which            6064, Morgantown, WV 26506, or

                                                                                                                                                 NATI O

                                          Water Act (SDWA)                            provisions about                              d October
                     the Safe Drinking                                                                    at issue. they adjourne

                                                                    ise before
                                          not reach a comprom                         takings were still         s about risk assessme
                                                                                                                                        nt and
                     and House could              8. In the end, provision
                                                                                      8. In the end, provision were still at issue.
                      they adjourned October private property takings


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         call 1-800-624-8301.
                                                                                       private property

                                                                                                                                                                                                  provides technical and regulatory

                                                                                                                                        Senate         LE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Indianapolis,

                                             nt and                                                                 Act (SDWA), the                                      OU
                      about risk assessme                      October 8. In               Safe Drinking Water
                                             they adjourned
                       were still at issue.                            nt and
                                            s about risk assessme
                       the end, provision

                                                                                                                                                                                   planning                                                                                       Indiana: March 22

                                            Guide focuses on funding for rural systems                                                                                                                                                                                          • Philadelphia,
                                             Small communities are often                                                                                                                          Disposal Systems in Rural Areas:       guidelines, and application
                                             frustrated when trying to secure                                                                                                                     A Working Guide for State              requirements. The guide also
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  March 28
                                             funding assistance for water and                                                                                                                     Coordination, is aimed at helping      examines how to link the three
                                             wastewater facility projects,                                                                                                                        rural communities interested in        funding agencies. The guide lists      • Hartford,
                                             especially for those projects that                                                                                                                   applying for water and waste           the names and addresses of agency        Connecticut:
                                             require funding from more than                                                                                                                       disposal grants. It covers grants      representatives in each state,           March 30
                                             one agency.                                                                                                                                          that may be obtained through the       and provides case studies from
                                                                                                                                                                                                  U.S. Department of Housing and         Arkansas and Ohio for inspiration.     • Dallas, Texas:
                                             However, the Council of State                                                                                                                        Urban Development’s State                                                       April 4
                                             Community Development                                                                                                                                Community Development Block            The guide is a product of the State
                                             Agencies (COSCDA) has                                                                                                                                Grant (CDBG) program, loans and        Community Development Block            • Park City, Utah:
                                             published a guide intended to help                                                                                                                   grants available through the U.S.      Grant Communicator Contract,             April 6
                                             rural communities to achieve their                                                                                                                   Department of Agriculture’s Rural      funded by the Department of
                                                               development                                                                                                                        Utilities Service (RUS) Water          Housing and Urban Development.         Deadline for
                                                               goals by making                                                                                                                    and Waste Disposal (WWD)               It is part of the continuing mission
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                registration for all
                                                               it easier for                                                                                                                      program, and loans through the         of COSCDA to provide technical
                                                                them to com-                                                                                                                      U.S. Environmental Protection          assistance to its members in all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                seminars is March 1.
                                                                bine agency                                                                                                                       Agency’s State Revolving Fund          areas of community development.
                                                                 resources.                                                                                                                       (SRF) program.                                                                For more information,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The guide is available for $10         or to register for any
                                                                                                                                                                                  The booklet,    Each agency is covered in detail       from COSCDA. You may contact           of the seminars, contact
                                                                                                                                                                                  Financing       in the guide, including background     them at (202) 393-6435.                Jim Fagan at (703)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Water and       information, eligibility                                                      760-0451.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Waste           requirements, grant planning

                        8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             S M A L L    F L O W S
 West Virginia voters clear way for bond sewage fund
         by Natalie Eddy              Authority, said he believes this       projects with the remaining 20        Council’s duties
        NSFC Staff Writer             approach to raising capital for        percent being set aside for “infra-   The IJDC is required to develop
                                      needed water and wastewater            structure” improvement projects.      uniform guidelines for state
 Communities in West Virginia         projects in West Virginia is                                                 agencies to use in funding requests
 now have an additional resource      practical. He agreed that the           The bill describes infrastructure    for projects. In July 1994, the
 to help fund sewage treatment        legislature probably felt the coal      projects as those "which the         state’s legislature passed House
 projects thanks to a $300 million    money offered a secure source of        council determines…likely to         Bill 5006 that created the West
 bond referendum narrowly             revenue for the bond repayment.         foster and enhance economic          Virginia Infrastructure Fund and
 approved by state voters late                                                growth and development…for           the IJDC to oversee the money
 last year.                              Yonkosky, who also serves as a       commercial, industrial, community    collected from the bond issues.
                                         member of the state's Infrastructure improvement or preservation…
 The plan was approved by                and Jobs Development Council         including,…tourism and recre-         The guidelines are required to
 approximately 3,600 votes, or a         (IJDC), said some money              ational housing, land, air or water   contain the following factors:
 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent            may be available as early as         transportation facilities andbridges, • the economic benefits of
 margin, in a special referendum         this summer to begin                 industrial or commercial projects         the project;
 in the November 1994                    funding projects.                    and facilities, mail order, ware-      • the public health benefits of
 general election.                                                            houses, wholesale and retail sales        the project;
                                         According to Yonkosky,                                 facilities, and      • the degree to which the project
 Details of how the bonds will be        the state Legislature                                            other         will bring the state into
 issued have not been legislated,        is currently in                                                   real and     compliance with federal
 but it is anticipated that six to eight session and is                                                    personal     regulations regarding sewage
 general obligation bond issues          working on                                              properties."           systems; and
 aggregating $300 million will           passing                                                                     • the cost-effectiveness of
 occur over the next five years.         enabling                                         Yonkosky said although        the project.
                                         legisla-                                      a portion of the state coal
 The bond issues will be repaid by       tion to                                  severance tax has been set        Process to obtain funding
 an annual dedicated portion of the specify                                     aside to repay the bond issues,     The council has developed a
 state coal severance tax. The first     how the                              the plan should not increase other    preliminary application form to be
 $16 million of the coal tax has         bonds will be                        taxes in the state because, in his    used by all project sponsors
 been earmarked for the bond             issued, and how much will            words, “Infrastructure improves       making funding requests.
 repayment, effective July 1, 1995. be issued the first year.                 the economy, develops the state,
                                                                              and promotes growth.”                 No project sponsor may apply for
 Source of revenue                       Yonkosky said that according to                                            or receive a loan, grant, or other
 Ron Stone, executive assistant to       the U.S. Environmental Protection The funding also may be used to          funding assistance, except by
 the cabinet secretary of the West       Agency's 1992 Needs Survey           “buy down” utility rates in rural     submitting a completed prelimi-
 Virginia Department of Tax and          Report to Congress, West             areas to make projects affordable     nary application and receiving
 Revenue, said the coal severance        Virginia’s current and future        to residents.                         approval by the council.
 tax is the gross receipts associated wastewater needs are in excess
 with the production of natural          of $2 billion.                       The legislation states that the       The council is required
 resources, of which 90 percent                                               council may make grants in areas      to approve or deny a
 are from coal.                          “We’re in the early stages of
                                         receiving proposals for projects,”
                                                                              where “the level of rates for the
                                                                              users would otherwise be an
                                                                                                                    project within 30 days
                                                                                                                    of receipt of a completed      “     Coal is very
 Mark Muchow, director of                said Yonkosky. “It’s difficult to    unreasonable burden given the         preliminary application.         abundant in West
 research with the Tax and Revenue say what the current funding need users’ likely ability to pay” or in                                                 Virginia and
 Department, said the state expects will be over the next six months.”        areas where “the absence of a         For more information
 to collect $173 million in 1995.                                             sufficient number of users prevents about the program or to            it is very unlikely
                                         He speculated that between $40       funding of the project except         obtain a pre-application         that this revenue
 Stone speculated that the severance to $50 million worth of projects
 tax was chosen as the bond              may receive funding from the
                                                                              through grants.”                      form, write to the West
                                                                                                                    Virginia Water Develop-
                                                                                                                                                    will be eliminated.
                                                                                                                                                            Ron Stone
 repayment because “it is a              first bond issue.                    The federal revolving loan            ment Authority, 1201
 dependable source of revenue for                                             program, authorized under the         Dunbar Avenue, Dunbar,          executive assistant to the
 the state.” He added, “Historically, “It’s my understanding that they        Clean Water Act, requires states to WV 25604, or call (304)                cabinet secretary
 the money has been there. Coal is       will be general obligation bonds     match the federal contribution. In    558-3612, or fax (304)          West Virginia Department
 very abundant in West Virginia,         issued on a competitive basis,”      addition to providing starter funds 558-0299.                            of Tax and Revenue
 and it is very unlikely that this       he added.                            for individual projects, monies
 revenue will be eliminated.”                                                 from the program also may be used
                                         House Bill 5006 calls for 80         to provide grants to rural areas that
 Bernie Yonkosky, director of the        percent of the money to be dedi-     cannot afford to match the state or
 West Virginia Water Development cated for wastewater and water               federal funds.

 EFIN BBS offers on-line finance help
 Have you accessed the Environ-       Users can access a database            If you need further information,      with a modem and communica-
 mental Financing Information         containing publications about          EFIN’s Contact Directory guides       tions software. Dial 1-800-291-
 Network (EFIN) yet? EFIN is a        environmental finance, plus case       you to individuals at the federal,    0349 and follow the simple log-on
 new computer bulletin board          studies that demonstrate successful    state, and local levels who may be    procedure. If you need assistance,
 developed by the National            use of funding methods. Two            able to help.                         call 1-800-624-8301 and ask for
 Small Flows Clearinghouse            helpful documents, Alternative                                               Brad Maust, system operator.
 (NSFC). It is designed to help       Financing Mechanisms and Fee           It costs nothing to access and use
 you locate information about         Systems, are also available on-line.   EFIN. All you need is a computer
 environmental finance.

WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                           9
             Fund provides low-interest loans for wastewater/water
                                                    been financed by the loan fund           • installation of septic tank          The additional funding brings the
                                                    with many recipients returning             systems and wells;                   group’s total capital to $3 million.
                                                    repeatedly for additional funding.       • replacement of water
                                                                                               meters; and                          “The newly-awarded money
                                                    The program offers funding from          • storage tank restoration.            has increased applications dramati-
                                                    $1,000 to $150,000 at interest rates                                            cally.” We believe that is due to
                             by Natalie Eddy        ranging from 3 to 7 percent.            SRDLF is headquartered in               cutbacks in other funding sources,”
                           NSFC Staff Writer                                                Roanoke, Virginia, and is a             said Taylor.
                                                    Interest rates are based on a           program of the Virginia Water
                  Low-interest loans are            community’s ability to repay a          Project, Inc., the Southeast Rural      “More communities are now
               available to rural communities       loan, the number of low-income          Community Assistance Program,           beginning to realize they cannot
               in seven southeastern states         residents benefitting from the          an affiliate of a national network of   afford to wait for years to receive
                to help finance wastewater,         project, and the current market         rural technical assistance centers.     grant money. They are willing to
                 water, or housing-                 rate, according to Taylor.              Until 1992, the program operated        borrow money to address their
                 related activities.                                                        only in Virginia.                       water and wastewater problems.”
                                                    Terms of the loans are flexible and
                  The Southeast Rural               can be tailored to fit the needs of a   “Virginia, Georgia, and Maryland        Applications are taken year-round
                  Development Loan Fund             community. There are no penalties       are our busiest states,” said Taylor.   with completed loan applications
            (SRDLF) offers interim funding to       or fees for pre-paying a loan before    “We’re working with other               being acted upon within 60 to
            public service authorities, local       its maturity date. Loan lengths may     funding sources to get activities       90 days.
            governments (county or municipal)       vary from one to ten years.             initiated in other states. If we’re
            users associations, and nonprofit                                               not able to fund a project, we offer    For additional information, or to
            organizations in Delaware,              Guidelines call for projects to         a referral service to help find other   obtain an application, contact the
            Maryland, Virginia, North               serve rural populations of 10,000       funding sources. We also assist in      loan fund at 1-703-345-1184, or
            Carolina, South Carolina,               or less and eligibility is based on     completing applications.”               write Southeast Rural Develop-
            Georgia, and Florida.                   a 30 percent threshold of low-                                                  ment Loan Fund, P.O. Box 2868,
                                                    income residents.                       The SRDLF was established               Roanoke, VA, 24001.
            Beth Taylor, loan fund                                                          with a $1 million loan from the
            manager for SRDLF, said           The funds may be used for                     Ford Foundation.                        The first issue of a new publication
            funding allocations and projects  pre-development, system upgrades,                                                     from the National Drinking Water
            served have varied since the      and new development.              Recently, the program was                           Clearinghouse (NDWC), Water
            organization’s beginning in 1986.                                   approved for a $2 million loan                      Sense, contains information about
                                              Past projects have included:      from the Rural Development                          other funding available through
            “We have currently experienced an • sewer system and water          Administration (RDA). This                          RUS’s Intermediary Relending
            increase in the number of loan       line extensions;               makes the loan fund an Intermedi-                   Program. (See article on page 8
            requests per year,” said Taylor.   • sewer system dechlorination;   ary Relending Program (IRP) of                      for information on how to obtain
            Approximately 20 projects have     • sewer, plumbing, and water     the Farmers Home Administration.                    a subscription.)
                                                 system rehabilitations;

            GAO report explains benefits, barriers of alternative systems

                     by Kevin Wilcox                Although small community waste-         and less-skilled staff to operate,      According to the report, engineers
                    NSFC Staff Writer               water treatment needs account for       consume less energy, and                whose fees are calculated as a
                                                    12 percent of the overall national      produce less sludge than                percentage of net construction
            Alternative wastewater treatment        need, small communities often           conventional facilities.”               costs face a financial incentive not
            systems can be substantially less       have less access to wastewater                                                  to design an alternative system,
            expensive than conventional sys-        funding, according to the report.       The GAO also looked at                  which is less expensive, and
            tems, but there are barriers limiting                                           alternative wastewater collection       therefore generates a smaller fee.
            the use of existing alternatives and    “The cost savings associated            systems, including small-diameter
            the development of new technol-         with alternative systems may            effluent sewers, pressure sewers,       The GAO found that through
            ogy, according to a new report by       allow communities that cannot           and vacuum sewers.                      demonstration projects under the
            the U.S. General Accounting             afford conventional facilities to                                               new Environmental Technology
            Office (GAO).                           effectively meet their wastewater       “The savings associated with            Initiative (ETI) (See story on
                                                    treatment needs,” the report states.    alternative collection systems for      page 1), the U.S. Environmental
            The report, Water Pollution: Infor-                                             appropriate small communities           Protection Agency (EPA) will seek
            mation on the Use of Alternative        The report identifies various           generally range from 25 percent to      to help bridge these barriers. ETI
            Wastewater Treatment Systems,           alternative wastewater treatment        as high as 90 percent of the cost of    projects also can help in the
            was requested by the chairman of        systems, including several onsite       conventional gravity sewers,”           development of new technologies
            the House of Representatives sub-       systems and different types of          the report states.                      to further reduce the cost of waste-
            committee on investigations and         cluster and centralized facilities.                                             water treatment, the report states.
            oversight, committee on public          Technologies include constructed        The GAO identified a number of
            works and transportation.               wetlands, overland flow, slow-rate      barriers that impede the use of         If you’d like a copy of the GAO’s
                                                    land application, and lagoons.          alternative systems, including:         report, Water Pollution: Informa-
            In preparing the report, the GAO                                                 • a lack of knowledge about            tion on the Use of Alternative
            contacted federal and state envi-       “Natural systems generally                 the alternatives’ applicability,     Wastewater Treatment Systems,
            ronmental protection agencies, as       require larger amounts of land             performance, and cost;               call the NSFC at 1-800-624-8301
            well as small communities that use      than mechanical systems but are          • financial disincentives within       and request item #WWBLGN55 .
            alternative systems. The National       simpler and usually much less              the private sector to design and/    The report costs $2. Add $2 for
            Small Flows Clearinghouse               costly to operate,” the report             or construct facilities employing    shipping and handling.
            (NSFC) also provided information        continues. “Natural systems can            alternative systems; and
            to the GAO.                             cost less to construct and their         • restrictive state and local
                                                    facilities can require fewer               codes and regulations.

        10                                                                                                                                    S M A L L       F L O W S
               32                           L E T T E R S                            T O             T H E               E D I T O R
        SM L FL
    L                    California                    We are a small town in California      Bendixen observed, “It is generally     type, and lack of understanding by


                          community                    and have been providing it to our      considered that waters containing       local authorities of the specific
                           uses                        customers for more than six            50 percent or more as sodium of         effects of sodium upon that soil.”
                           alternative                 months with very positive results.     the total cations (sodium, calcium,

                      regenerant                                                              magnesium and potassium) are            In his summary, Patterson said,
            Dear Editor:                               Sincerely,                             potentially harmful to the water        “The need for better understanding
        Regarding the interest of                      Benjamin Boer                          absorption characteristics of soil.     of sodium effects upon soils used

        discharging chloride salt brine                Water Conservation Officer             Even in sandy soils,” he continued,     for the disposal of wastewaters
        into a septic system—if folks                  Cambria Community                      “waters of 85 percent or higher are     cannot be too highly stressed.
        would use potassium chloride as a              Services District                      likely to make soils impermeable        Whether the effluent is disposed of
        regenerant instead of sodium the               Cambria, California                    after prolonged use. There are          through subsurface absorption or
        question would be moot. Enclosed                                                      some indications that potassium         through the surface, the effects
        please find a brief article on                 In response to his letter, Small       may have similar effects.”              of sodium salts on hydraulic
        potassium chloride, and why it’s               Flows asked Benjamin Boer                                                      conductivity are pronounced.”
        such a positive solution.                      about his community’s decision to      In 1973, Wastewater Treatment
                                                       promote potassium chloride             Systems for Rural Communities,          Labels on commonly used laundry
        There is a ton of information and              instead of sodium chloride as a        published by the Commission on          powders and cleaning, beauty, and
        studies available on this; all                 water softening regenerant. He         Rural Water, stated that “high con-     cooking products reveal high
        anyone has to do is ask for it.                says that potassium chloride’s         centrations of sodium ions ex-          levels of sodiums as principle
                                                       higher cost (sometimes as much as      change with calcium and                 ingredients. Patterson determined
                                                       twice the cost of sodium chloride)     magnesium ions in the clay matrix.      that 38 percent of the sodium
                                                       is more than outweighed by its         The exchanging ions alter the forces    budget comes from laundry
        The National Small Flows Clearinghouse,
        established by the U.S. Environmental          benefits for the small community of    that hold the clay together and         powders, which list up to 40
        Protection Agency under the federal Clean      Cambria (population 6,000).            cause it to lose its structure—the      percent of content as sodium sulfate.
        Water Act (CWA) in 1977 and located at                                                clay becomes tighter and seals.”
        West Virginia University, gathers and
        distributes information about small commu-
                                                       Part of Boer’s job as the district’s                                           More than 40 years ago, Fred
        nity wastewater systems. Small Flows is        water conservation officer is to       In arid climates, high                  Horne, a specialist in physical and
        published quarterly in January, April, July,   market reclaimed wastewater from       evapotranspiration and sodium           chemical correction of septic
        and October.                                   its wastewater treatment plant,        laden irrigation water combine          system soils, addressed sodium
                        Small Flows                    some of which may be provided to       to cause impermeable clay               issues. With support from
                       Sponsored by:                   local farmers. He says sodium          development under or within the         Chevron’s agricultural division to
                                                       chloride remaining in the treated      root zone of crops like cotton.         research the potential of various
         U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
               Haig Farmer, Project Officer            wastewater may affect the              To help offset this problem,            amendments, leading soil and
               Municipal Support Division              district’s waste discharge             gypsum, in many forms, may              wastewater experts were
                  Office of Wastewater                 requirements and its suitability for   be added to irrigation waters.          commissioned to conduct blind
              Enforcement and Compliance               agricultural use. Reclaimed water                                              field tests on the impact of
                    Washington, D.C.
                                                       containing potassium, on the other     Researcher S.R. Weibel added            sodiums. This research also
          National Small Flows Clearinghouse           hand, actually promotes growth.        ground gypsum to septic tank            studied corrective measures on
                 West Virginia University                                                     effluent and reported beneficial        mature, in-use, septic disposal
              John L. Mori, Ph.D., Manager,
                                                       Boer enclosed a copy of                results from his 1952 tests in          systems. It was concluded that an
               WVU Environmental Services
                   and Training Division               “Potassium Chloride: Alternative       “Studies on Household Sewage            agricultural soil amendment,
                      Sanjay Saxena,                   Regenerant for Softening Water”.       Disposal Systems.”                      calcium polysulfide, in combina-
               Interim Program Coordinator             The paper was reprinted from                                                   tion with dispersing agents,
            Jill Ross, Publications Supervisor
                    Nancy Gover, Editor
                                                       Better Crops with Plant Food, a        In their 1984 report to the Water       reflocculated sodium bonded soils
            Betsy Noullet, Graphic Designer            Fall 1993 publication of the           Quality Research Council,               and restored drainage to failing
                                                       Potash and Phosphate Institute.        “Potential Effects of Water             and clogged drainfield systems.
         International Standard Serial Number          Copies are available for $1 each       Softener Use on Septic Tank Soil
                                                       (reference Volume 77, Number 4,        Absorption in On-Site Waste             Today, 26 million homes rely
                    Article Submissions                page 24). To order, call the           Water Systems,” University of           on soils to permanently dispose
        Small Flows welcomes letters to the editor,    institute at 1-913-776-0273, or        Wisconsin-Madison researchers           of wastewater.
        articles, news items, photographs, or other    fax: 1-913-776-8347.                   E.J. Tyler, R.B. Corey, and M.U.
        materials for publication. Please address
        correspondence to:                                                                    Olotu recommended that “studies         Problem solving relies on good
                                                       Sodium impact on                       be initiated to determine the effects   information. Without the research
                  Editor, Small Flows                  septic drainage soils                  of solutions containing conductivi-     of dedicated scientists, we cannot
          National Small Flows Clearinghouse           Dear Editor:                           ties of natural soil columns...and      build solutions for today’s
               West Virginia University
                    P.O. Box 6064                      The harmful effect of sodiums          actual salt concentrations in           problems. The challenge now is in
            Morgantown, WV 26506-6064                  on soil clays is well documented       various zones of septic tanks with      finding ways to reach these 26
                    1-800-624-8301                     in agricultural texts. Research in     and without addition of water           million homeowners so that they
                                                       the late 1940s to mid-1950s,           softener wastes.”                       may benefit from what has
        For permission to reprint information          undertaken to find causes of                                                   been learned.
        appearing in Small Flows, please send a        septic system failures, pointed        In 1991, Robert A. Patterson, soil
        letter of request to the editor.               out potential damage to soils from     scientist, Department of Resource       Cordially.
        Small Flows is funded by the United
                                                       sodiums carried in septic tank         Engineering, University of New          Mary H. Gayman
        States Environmental Protection Agency.        effluent. Researcher and soil          England, New South Wales,               Drayner, Inc.
        The contents of this newsletter do not         scientist T.W. Bendixen of the         presented a speech in which he          Kingsburg, CA 93631
        necessarily reflect the views and policies     Federal Security Agency’s              stated, “The problems associated
        of the Environmental Protection Agency,
        nor does mention of trade names or             Cincinnati Environmental               with disposal of septic tank and        For more information, you may
        commercial products constitute endorse-        Health Center outlined his             aerated wastewater treatment            contact Gayman at (209) 897-
        ment or recommendation for use.                concerns in a 1952 speech titled       system effluent will continue so        3323, or fax (209) 897-0814.
                      Small Flows is printed           “Clogging Characteristics of           long as there is no education of the
                        on recycled paper.
                                                       Domestic Effluent.”                    homeowners, poor standard trench
                                                                                              dimension with respect to soil

WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                                                11
                     U.S. EPA offers new, free environmental software
                              by Natalie Eddy             Two of the more recent wastewater-       regulatory staff, engineers, and         or above underground sources
                             NSFC staff writer            related programs include:                engineering students.) [Program          of drinking water. It is impor-
                                                           • Principles and Design of              requires one diskette, either size.]     tant to understand why they
                     The U.S. Environmental Protection       Onsite Waste Disposal with                                                     exist, why they may pose a
                     Agency (EPA), Region 5 is               Septic Systems. This instruc-       • Alternatives for Unsewered               danger to the environment, and
                     offering several new, free environ-     tional program contains 80            Communities. This program                how they may be operated and
                     mental software programs for the        color graphic screens and some        is an extensive guide to the                  maintained safely. (Target
                     general public that run on              animation to teach the basics of      facilities planning                            audience: General public.)
                     IBM-compatible computers.               onsite treatment such as septic       process for                                    [Program requires one
                                                             tanks, drainfields, mounds, and       small                                           diskette, either size.]
                     Alfred Krause, EPA Region 5             water conservation. Main              communities.
                     outreach coordinator, said a total      menus include principles of           Topics                                           To receive the free
                     of 34 software programs are being       treatment, design and siting,         covered                                           programs, send the
                     offered in the areas of wastewater      soil basics, and water conserva-      include needs                                     appropriate number of
                     treatment, drinking water, water        tion. (Target audience:               documentation,                                     blank high-density
                     conservation, agriculture,              Everyone from onsite system           development                                        diskettes and the names
                     farmstead risk assessment,              installers or their customers to      of alternative                                     of the programs
                     wetlands, water education, solid        middle school students and            solutions, and                           requested to Reshkin, U.S. EPA,
                     waste, environmental assessment,        older.) [Program requires one         selection of the best response,        Region 5, 77 W. Jackson, Mailcode
public education

                     health, and regulations. Five of        diskette, either size.]               as well as treatment manage-           S-14J, Chicago, IL 60604-3590 or
                     the programs also are available                                               ment and implementation.               for more information, call
                     in Spanish.                           • Municipal Pollution                   A section on sludge also is            (312) 353-6353.
                                                             Prevention Diagnostic Planner         included. (Target audience:
                     Karen Reshkin, EPA software             (CMAR 2.0). Based on the              Local officials and cooperative        Duplicates of the software may
                     development specialist, said,           Wisconsin Department of               extension services.) [Three 3-1/       be purchased from either of two
                     “We’re very pleased with the            Natural Resources’ Compliance         2 inch diskettes or two 5-1/4          sources. In the past, Purdue
                     response we’ve received about           Maintenance Annual Report,            inch diskettes.]                       University has offered the
                     the program and with the variety        this hypertext-based program                                                 complete set of programs on
                     of subjects we have been able           serves as an early warning         Other water-related education             CD-ROM. However, as of
                     to offer.”                              system for wastewater treatment programs include:                            presstime, they were sold out,
                                                             plant operators. The user           • Groundwater Education                  and a reissue was being planned.
                     She added that the program grew         supplies information on influent      System. This program educates          Price of the reissue, which
                     to its present size from originally     loadings, discharge monitoring        users about the nature of              includes shipping and handling
                     being offered only in Region 5          data, pretreatment, financial         groundwater and the principles         fees, is uncertain.
                     extension offices.                      status, failures and upsets, and      of groundwater protection.
                     “We did the first                       other aspects of plant operation      All important concepts are             For information about the Purdue
                     couple of pro-                                 and maintenance. Point         reinforced with definitions or         program, call (317) 494-1173 or
                     grams, and they                                      values are assigned      colorful interactive graphics.         write to The Farm Building Plan
                     were requested                                       to potential problem     It includes a newspaper clipping       Service, Purdue University, 1146
                     by a much                                          areas and the resulting    file and a follow-up quiz.             AGEN Building, West Lafayette,
                     wider audi-                                      report is saved to a         (Target audience: General              Indiana, 47907-1146.
                     ence than                                       printable file. (Target       public.) [Program requires one
                     anticipated.                                  audience: Wastewater            diskette, either size.]                Public Brand Software offers the
                     The requests                                treatment operators.) [One                                               programs to the public for $5 per
                     grew, and we added                         3-1/2 inch diskette or two 5-    • Surface Water Education                disk, plus a $5 shipping and
                     more titles,” she said.                  1/4 inch diskettes are required.]    System. This program includes          handling charge per order.
                                                                                                   a general overview of the
                     Reshkin said EPA plans to            Other available wastewater-related       importance and quantity of             For more information about Public
                     expand the program to include        software programs in                     surface water, a detailed look         Brand Software or to order, call
                     additional topics. Krause added      the same series include:                 at this resource for Indiana,          1-800-426-3475 or write to Public
                     that the acquisition of a high-speed • RWASTE II: Residential                 and a discussion of how                Brand Software, 25 First St.,
                     disk copier means the orders now        Waste Treatment Evaluation.           surface water can become               Cambridge, MA 02141.
                     can be filled with greater speed.       RWASTE works from a lot               contaminated. Hypertext,a
                                                             layout, soil, and groundwater         number of photos, and graphics
                     All of the software programs must       information provided by the           illustrate an extensive
                     be used with a hard drive and a         user to select a wastewater           discussion of agricultural best
                     high-density disk drive. Some           treatment technology (septic          management practices to protect
                     programs require more than one          tank, mound, at-grade, and            surface water resources. (Target
                     diskette for processing.                holding tank) and provides a          audience: General public.)
                                                             preliminary system design. It         [Program requires two dis-
                     Krause said an ideal system for         calculates the amount of grade        kettes, either size.]
                     running all the programs is a 486       and backfill necessary, and
                     PC with a VGA monitor and a             selects a pump, if necessary.       • UIC Class V Injection
                     mouse. He added, however, that          RWASTE is improved from               Wells. EPA’s Under-
                     many of the programs will run on        earlier versions and includes         ground Injection Control
                     older or less powerful equipment.       interactive help, a color             (UIC) program is ex-
                                                             interface, and a simplified           plained in this hypertext-
                                                             installation program.                 based software package,
                                                             (Target audience: onsite system       with a focus on Class V
                                                             installers, sanitarians, farmers,     injection wells. These wells
                                                             homeowners, state and local           inject wastewater directly into

                   12                                                                                                                               S M A L L      F L O W S
 Program targets restaurants with onsite systems
          by Natalie Eddy               of the county is bordered by         Following the initial questionnaire,         Burleigh said each workshop
         NSFC Staff Writer              saltwater. We also have a lot of     Business in the Blue officials visit         participant receives training
                                        lakes, rivers, and streams.”         each replying establishment to               materials, including a system
 An education program in Mason                                                                      inspect the           maintenance record form.
 County, Washington, called
 Business in the Blue, is keeping
                                        Poor, shal-
                                        low, steep,    Business                                     facility’s
                                                                                                    kitchen               “In most of the establishments
 local restaurants in the pink.         or easily                          in                       practices and         there was a definite need to
                                        eroded                                                      sewage-               decrease the wastewater flow and
 Washington State University            soils                                                       system                strength,” said Burleigh.
 Cooperative Extension in Mason         contribute                                                  management.           “Decreasing flow rate improves
 County, has initiated the program
 for owners of food service
                                        to the
                                        area’s          the Blue                                         Each visit
                                                                                                                          the amount of treatment achieved,
                                                                                                                          and decreasing strength can help
 establishments to help improve         watershed                                                        includes:        prevent premature drainfield failure.
 their onsite sewage treatment and      management problem.                    •   inspection of plumbing system for
 disposal systems and improve                                                      leaks and general maintenance;         “We also found there was a need
 the area’s waterways.                  Puget Sound is a large                 •   evaluation of water conservation       to use cleaning compounds in the
                                        inland sea located in western              practices;                             proper concentrations,” he
 The program is designed to             Washington. Shellfish                  •   visual inspection of the drainfield;   continued. Excessive amounts of
 help restaurant owners and             harvesting is big business in          •   observation of cooking and             disinfectants can kill bacteria and
 managers better understand their       Mason County, but the area also            dishwashing staff;                     reduce bacterial action in the
 septic systems and the special         depends on its waterways for           •   menu review to determine how           system, which reduces treatment
 problems associated with the           tourism and recreation.                    much oil is used;                      of the wastewater.”
 food service industry.                                                        •   review of cleaning compounds in
                                        In addition, a majority of                 use and the strengths used;            The program also offers three
 “A large issue in Mason County         the area relies on wells for           •   review of support contractor           videotapes that address the design,
 has been failing septics,” said Dick   drinking water, adding to the              practices (septic pumpers,             operation, and maintenance of
 Burleigh, program assistant at the     importance of correcting these             cleaners, and vent system              gravity and alternative onsite
 extension office. “We have about a     onsite systems.                            maintenance);                          sewage systems.
 ten percent failure rate. The                                                 •   an interview with the owner or
 problem is so bad in some areas,       Program history                            manager to review the facility/        Incentive offered to clients
 the county has had to test septic      The Business in the Blue                   system history, problems               As an added incentive for
 tanks in every residence adjoining     program was started in January             encountered, current maintenance       businesses to participate in the
 the water.”                            1994, the result of a special              and cleaning practices, level of       program, program officials
                                        grant from the Washington                  system knowledge, and staff            offered free publicity to clients
 Burleigh said there has been a         State University Water Quality             turnover; and                          in the county’s annual tourism
 noticeable downgrade in Mason          Management Team.                       •   a consultation with the manager        publication.
 County’s water quality for the last                                               or owner to determine whether
 decade, adding that several com-       Robert Simmons, an upland                  to train the entire staff or just      “Tourism is a
 mercial shellfish beaches have
 been closed because of water con-
                                        water quality agent at the
                                        extension office, came up with
                                                                                   the manager.                           large part of
                                                                                                                          business here,”
                                                                                                                                                 “Decreasing flow
                                                                                                                                                  rate improves the
 tamination. The most recent clo-       the concept for the program.          Program leaders have prepared               Burleigh said.
 sure of a county shellfish beach                                             a special management guide to               “A local newspa-       amount of treatment
 occurred in the Lower Hood Canal       Since the program’s inception,        provide additional assistance.              per publishes a           achieved, and
 in February 1993.                      29 facilities out of a potential      The information utilizes existing           county visitor’s
                                        100 have undergone specialized        publications with input from state          guide. In it, we       decreasing strength
 Burleigh said failing onsite sewage    onsite training through work-         health department officials and             tell the visitors        can help prevent
 systems have been identified as the    shops sponsored by the Mason          knowledgeable installation and              and residents
 predominant factor affecting water     County Cooperative Extension.         design contractors.                         that participants
                                                                                                                                                 premature drainfield
 quality. Of the eight onsite sewage
 system failures documented for         Eligible facilities include           Training workshops offer hands-on
                                                                                                                          can be recog-
                                                                                                                          nized by our
                                                                                                                                                       Dick Burleigh
 commercial establishments by the       restaurants, campgrounds,             experience. Burleigh said workshop          logo on stickers          program assistant
 county in 1988, six were food          grocery stores, convenience           formats range from one-on-one               put in the door        Mason County, Washington
 service establishments.                stores, and institutional             discussions to formal lectures with         or windows of              Extension Office
                                        facilities, such as schools           groups of five or more.                     establishments.”
 One of the major reasons for such      and food banks.
 high failure rates is the high flow                                          Some main issues discussed in each          Burleigh said that the stickers and
 and strength of their waste stream,    To initiate the program,              workshop include:                           program participation have almost
 caused by excess grease and food       Burleigh sent surveys to               • a description of how the onsite          become a status symbol, adding
 products.                              food service establishments.             system works and what                    that it indicates the restaurants are
                                        Owners or managers of 26                 maintenance is required;                 environmentally aware.
 There is only one large sewage         establishments replied.                • the importance of frequent
 treatment plant in Mason County,                                                inspections and pumping based            The Business in the Blue program
 which has a population of 44,000.      The results of this preliminary          on the rate of solids buildup;           has been advertised heavily in the
 Shelton, the county seat, has public   survey show that area                  • the unique risks associated with         area, appearing in local radio,
 wastewater treatment; the              commercial establishments                food service establishments, such        newspapers, newsletters, and
 remainder of the county, some          are experiencing unique                  as higher flow rates, higher             display booths at the county fair
 36,000 residents, rely on onsite       problems with their onsite               strength, higher temperature, and        and other public festivals.
 treatment systems, mainly              systems, and that current                additional disinfectants; and
 septic tanks.                          training manuals written for           • specific examples of proper and          In addition to drawing attention to
                                        homeowners are not addressing            harmful practices at each facility       Business in the Blue participants,
 “We’re located directly on Puget       their specific needs, according          with alternative suggestions to
 Sound,” Burleigh said. One-third       to Burleigh.                             correct any problems.                    Continued on page 15

WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                                    13
              Are legal remedies available                                                                    WATS Q & A
              for malfunctioning systems?                                                              Editor's Note: The following question was received over the
                                                                                                         National Small Flows Clearinghouse's WATS line. If you
                  by Kent Seitzinger               regulators are aware that clayey                        have a question, please call 1-800-624-8301.
              NSFC Legal Advice Columnist          or mottled soil almost always
                                                   represents a limiting factor that                           Will normal use of household cleansers and
           One of the most frequently              must be considered when                                     disinfectants upset my septic tank?
           encountered legal problems in           determining whether or not a site
           wastewater treatment and disposal       is suitable for a particular system.   Several manufacturers of septic tank additives claim improper functioning
           is the plight of the homeowner          Some agencies, however, do not         of residential septic tank systems is caused by adding household cleaners to
           with a malfunctioning septic            recognize such a limitation.           the septic system. They claim that bacterial additives are needed to resupply
           tank system.                            Consequently, one could fully          the bacterial population required for anaerobic digestion in the septic tank.
                                                   comply with all site evaluation
           There seem to be two common,            standards, system design criteria,     However, the bacteria responsible for the digestion in the septic tank are
                                                                                          commonly found in the domestic wastewater entering the tank as well as in
           yet diametrically opposed,              and installation requirements and
           misperceptions concerning this          still have a premature, if not         the soil of the drainfield. As long as the septic tank is being used and main-
           situation. The first is that there is   immediate, malfunction.                tained properly, the incoming wastewater from the residence will supply the
           no legal remedy available; the                                                 septic tank with enough bacteria to properly carry out digestion.
           second is that there must be a         Negligence
                                                                                          Research conducted over the past several years has concluded that with
           legal remedy available.                The final category includes
                                                                                          normal use, household cleaning products do not adversely affect septic tank
                                                  those malfunctions that occur
                                                                                          operation. Normal use of household cleaning products is considered to be
           Whether a legal remedy is              because someone has not done
                                                                                          the amount recommended by the manufacturer.
           available to the homeowner with a his or her job adequately. These
           malfunctioning septic tank system malfunctions are usually a result
                                                                                          With normal use, household cleansers and disinfectants perform well in
           depends upon a variety of factors.     of inadequate site evaluation.
                                                                                          destroying bacteria in the home, but do not harm the bacterial action
           In fact, the issue is not a legal one, The system may not have been
                                                                                          required for a septic tank to operate properly. This is due to dilution of the
           but rather a technical one: Why did designed properly, it may not
                                                                                          cleaning products once they enter the tank and the absorptive capacity of the
           the system malfunction?                have been installed properly, and/
                                                                                          organic material in it.
                                                  or it may not have been properly
           Reasons for septic tank system         or adequately inspected                 A study conducted at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock
           failure fall into a few broad          during construction.                    determined the amount of household chemicals required to destroy the bac-
           categories. The following                                                      terial population in an individual domestic septic tank. Domestic cleansers,
           categories are over generalized,       Remedies                                disinfectants, and drain openers were selected to represent
           but will demonstrate the               Generally, “nobody’s fault”             commonly used cleaning products.
           common issues.                         failures will not have a legal
                                                  remedy. The one possible                Results of this study showed that an excessive amount of any of the cleans-
           “Nobody’s fault”                       exception is when there is some         ers or disinfectants applied in a slug loading (all at once) was
           The first category of malfunction- type of special protection such             required to destroy the bacteria in the septic tank. However, after normal
           ing systems I call the “nobody’s       as a homeowner warranty that            septic system usage, the bacterial population recovered to its original con-
           fault” group. These include old,       provides coverage for septic tank       centration within hours. In other words, under extreme stress and shock
           worn-out systems that may have         systems or a similar warranty           loading conditions, the bacteria can be destroyed in the septic
           been installed properly at the time, provided by the installer. In some        tank. Rejuvenation does occur, however, within hours following
           but because of today's more            cases, state law may impose             normal system usage.
           sophisticated understanding are        a warranty.
           now considered inadequate. These                                               The study showed that even minute amounts of drain openers can kill the
           failures include situations where      Failures involving systems that         bacterial population in the septic tank. Therefore, the recommendation was
           virtually everything is done           have not been properly maintained       made not to use large amounts of drain cleaners.
           correctly but the systems seem to      almost always have no legal
           fail anyway. While such failures       remedy available since the system       Recommended doses not to be exceeded for a 1,000 gallon septic tank were
           are uncommon, they are not un-         owner is at fault.                      1.3 gallons of bleach, 2.5 gallons of cleansers or disinfectants, and 0.65
           heard of and probably result from                                              ounces of drain openers. Higher doses were found to affect the septic tank
           our incomplete understanding of        Failures caused by inadequate or        bacterial populations.
           how septic tank systems function.      improper governmental regulation
                                                  are the most difficult to assess.       If you are concerned about the effects of the cleaning products on your
           Homeowner abuse                        Most states have governmental tort      septic system, there are alternatives available. Penn State University has
           The second category involves           claims acts that prescribe the limits   developed a fact sheet that lists several basic cleaning ingredients along with
           those systems that fail because        of governmental liability for such      steps to follow that may be used for normal household cleaning jobs. For
           they have not been properly            matters. In many, if not most,          example, white vinegar can be used as a cleaner, deodorizer, or grease cut-
           maintained. These include              states, there are immunities that       ter. Lemon can be used also as a cleaner, deodorizer, or stain remover. A
           situations where septic tanks          protect both the regulatory             mixture of one-fourth cup baking soda, one-half cup vinegar, and one gallon
           or leachfields have been compro-       agencies and their employees.           of boiling water will clear most household drain blockages.
           mised (e.g., placing a driveway        On a few occasions, however,
           over the leachfield), the septic tank a knowledgeable lawyer with              For additional information on the use of septic tank additives or the effects
           was not pumped when needed,            creative legal skills may be able       of household cleaning agents on septic tanks, call the National Small Flows
           or the system was overloaded           to fashion a remedy.                    Clearinghouse (NSFC) at 1-800-624-8301 and request the ADDITIVE
           hydraulically and/or organically.                                              packet. This packet contains a selection of articles on additives and cleaning
                                                  The negligence category is              products along with the report of the above-mentioned Arkansas study.
           Inadequate regulation                  where most liability issues
           The third category of failures         potentially exist. A detailed           For general information on the proper care and feeding of a septic system,
           involves situations where a            discussion of possible legal            call and request the STINFOFL packet. This packet contains a selection of
           particular regulatory agency has an remedies for such situations will be       brochures concentrating on the care and maintenance of septic systems along
           inadequate regulatory scheme.          explored more fully in the next         with the Penn State fact sheet mentioned in this article. Both packets are free.
           For example, most sophisticated        issue of Small Flows.

         14                                                                                                                                     S M A L L        F L O W S
                         T     F      S
                                             Calendar of Events                                                          Program targets
           T     W              2    3                                                                                   restaurants with
S     M            1
                   8            9 10            If your organization is sponsoring an event that you would               onsite systems
        5   6                   16 17           like to have advertised in this calendar, please send
    4           14 15                           information to the Small Flows Editor.                                   Continued from page 13
         2 13                    23 24
    11 1            22                                                                                                   program officials initiated the
              0 21
    18  19 2         29           30                                                                                     advertising campaign to build
     25  26 2
              7 28
                                            Event:   Idaho Environmental            A        pril
                                                                                                                         recognition, attract new clients,
                                                                                                                         and raise the public’s awareness
                                                                                                                         about the importance of properly

                                                     Health Associations            Event: Marine & Estuary Shallow
                                                     Annual Educational                    Water Science &               operating and maintaining onsite
                                                     Conference                            Management Conference         systems.
          ebruary                           Date:    March 15-17                    Date:  April 3-7
      Event:   Washington State             Place:   Boise, ID                      Place: Atlantic City, NJ
               University Extension’s       Phone:   (208) 327-7499                 Phone: (215) 597-3642
                                                                                                                         Program accomplishments
               Nitrogen, Environment                 Carol Johnson                                                       Although the program is still
               and People: An                                                       Event: Missouri Milk, Food,          ongoing, Burleigh said that as of
               International Conference     Event:   Water Quality Association’s           and Environmental Health
      Date:    February 23-24                        21st Annual Convention
                                                                                                                         December 1994, 44 septic systems,
                                                                                           Association's Annual
      Place:   Everett, WA                  Date:    March 14-19                           Conference                    located at the 29 participating
      Phone:   (360) 676-6736               Place:   Nashville, TN                  Date:  April 5-7                     establishments have benefitted
               Nancy May                    Phone:   (708) 505-0161 Ext. 240,       Place: Columbia, MO                  from the program. He added that
                                                     Nancy Raymond                  Phone: (816) 327-4653
      Event:   On-Site Wastewater                                                                                        33 of these systems are located
                                                                                           Phillip Shatzer
               Research Council’s Third     Event:   Nolte and Associates, Inc.’s                                        on property that adjoins
               Annual Conference                     Seminar: Natural Systems       Event: 1995 Georgia Water            surface waters.
      Date:    February 26-28                        for Waste Management                  Resources Conference
      Place:   Austin, TX                            and Treatment                  Date:  April 11-12
      Phone:   (210) 540-4196 or            Date:    March 20-21                                                         Follow-up visits to the facilities
                                                                                    Place: Athens, Georgia
               (512) 708-0414               Place:   San Francisco, CA              Phone: (706) 542-3063                have shown that owners and
               Barbara DuBose or Denise     Phone:   (916) 641-1500                                                      managers are using proper
               Rhodes (512) 482-0321                 Natural Systems                Event: Virginia Water Resources      concentrations of solvents and
                                                     Seminar Coordinator                   Research Center and the       cleaners, and at least two
                                                                                           Virginia Lakes

               American Society of
               Civil Engineers, Water

                                                     Granite State Designers
                                                     and Installers Association’s
                                                     Eighth Annual Septic
                                                     Systems Conference
                                                     March 22
                                                                                           Association’s Eighth
                                                                                           Annual Virginia Water
                                                                                           Resources Conference
                                                                                           April 17-19
                                                                                    Place: Richmond, VA
                                                                                                                         establishments have stopped
                                                                                                                         dumping vent cleaning solvents
                                                                                                                         and residue down the drain.

                                            Place:   Windham, NH                    Phone: (703) 231-8039                In addition, Burleigh said there
               Resources Research
                                            Phone:   (603) 228-1231                        Dr. Diana L. Weigmann         seems to be a better overall
               Council, U.S. Environ-
               mental Protection Agency,
                                            Event:   Nolte and Associates, Inc.’s
                                                                                                                         understanding of how onsite
               and the Ontario Ministry                                             Event: American Public Works
                                                     Seminar: Natural Systems              Association Symposium:        systems work and the need for
               of Environment and
               Energy’s 1995
                                                     for Waste Management                  Public Works and the          proper tank pumping.
                                                     and Treatment                         Human Environment
               Conference on
                                            Date:    March 23-24                    Date:  April 19-21
               Stormwater Management
                                            Place:   Portland, OR                                                        The program also seems to have
               and Water Quality                                                    Place: Seattle, WA

                                            Phone:   (916) 641-1500 Natural         Phone: (206) 543-5539                reached the general public.
      Date:    March 2-3
                                                     Systems Seminar                                                     Burleigh said numerous telephone
                                                     Coordinator                    Event: American Water                inquiries and extension office
      Place:   Toronto, Ontario, Canada
      Phone:   (519) 767-0197                                                              Resources Association’s       visits have shown that the public
                                            Event:   Rural Community                       Annual Spring Symposium:
                                                     Assistance Corporation and            “Water Conservation in        generally is more aware of onsite
      Event:   National Environmental
                                                     Neighborhood Reinvestment             the 21st Century”             system maintenance.
               Training Center for Small
                                                     Corporation’s Third            Date:  April 23-26
               Communities Train-the-                Annual Pacific Northwest
               Trainer Session: The                                                 Place: Logan, UT
                                                     Regional Training Institute    Phone: (801) 797-2783
                                                                                                                         In addition, several hundred
               Basics of Environmental                                                                                   educational bulletins explaining
                                            Date:    March 27-28                           J. Paul Riley
               Systems Management for
                                            Place:   Portland, OR                                                        the onsite system maintenance
               Local Officials
      Date:    March 8                                                                                                   needs have been picked up

                                            Event:   Nolte and Associates, Inc.’s
      Place:   San Diego, CA                         Seminar: Natural Systems                                            by residents at various
      Phone:   (800) 624-8301                                                                                            public displays.
                                                     for WasteManagement
               Ext. 536 Sandy Miller
                                                     and Treatment                             ay
                                            Date:    March 27-28                    Event: American Institute of
      Event:   Rural Community
                                            Place:   Denver, CO                            Hydrology’s 1995 Annual       Burleigh believes the program
               Assistance Program’s                                                        Meeting: Water                may serve as a prototype and
                                            Phone:   (916) 641-1500 Natural
               Annual Training                                                             Resources at Risk
                                                     Systems Seminar                                                     can be easily duplicated for use
                                                     Coordinator                    Date:  May 14-18
      Date:    March 8-10                                                           Place: Denver, CO
                                                                                                                         elsewhere, especially in similar
      Place:   San Diego, CA
                                            Event:   Gulf of Mexico Program’s       Phone: (612) 379-1030,               areas concentrated with food
      Phone:   (703) 771-8636                                                              Helen Klose                   service establishments and
                                                     Steering a Course for the
                                                     Future: Third Gulf of                                               onsite systems.
      Event:   Cole Publishing Inc.’s                Mexico Symposium               Event: The National Watershed
               15th Annual International                                                   Coalition’s Fourth National
                                            Date:    March 29-April 1
               Liquid Waste Haulers
                                            Place:   Corpus Chrisi, TX                     Watershed Conference          For more information about Business
               Equipment & Trade Show                                               Date:  May 21-24                     in the Blue, contact Burleigh at the
                                            Phone:   (800) 699-GULF
      Date:    March 9-11                                                           Place: Charleston, WV
      Place:   Nashville, TN                                                                                             Washington State University Coop-
                                            Event:   Pennsylvania Septage           Phone: (303) 988-1810
      Phone:   (800) 257-7222                                                                                            erative Extension, N. 11840 Highway
                                                     Management Association’s
                                                     Annual Conference              Event: The National Association      101, Shelton, WA 98584, or call
      Event:   National League of Cities’                                                  of Environmental              (206) 427-9670, extension 396.
                                            Date:    March 29-April 1
               Congressional Cities                                                        Professionals 20th
                                            Place:   Mechanicsburg, PA
               Conference, including                                                       Annual Conference
                                            Phone:   (717) 842-7300
               CSO Partnership Annual                                               Date:  June 10-13
               Meeting                                                              Place: Washington, D.C.
      Date:    March 11-14                                                          Phone: (202) 966-1500,
      Place:   Washington, D.C.                                                            Louisa Baker
      Phone:   (202) 626-3105

WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                                  15
                  Health departments provide data on onsite systems
                           by Natalie Eddy                Onsite issues                            She said the information NSFC          onsite systems, and 64 percent of
                          NSFC Staff Writer               The database documents the num-          collects for the database will         those charge for permits on
                                                          ber and types of onsite systems          serve as a valuable resource for       repairs.The typical cost of a repair
                  Information from a new National         permitted at the local level and         providing information and assis-       permit was $77.
                  Small Flows Clearinghouse               provides information about how           tance to others who are facing the
                  (NSFC) database on the status of        localities deal with related issues,     same challenges.                       Most of the reporting health
                  small community onsite waste-           such as permitting, inspections,                                                departments said their areas had
                  water treatment systems will be         and maintenance.                         Of the jurisdictions for which         experienced an increase in
                  available this spring.                                                           NSFC has data, an average of 110       population in 1993 and that the
                                                          It includes information about the        onsite systems were reported to        increase had affected the number
                  In an effort to better understand the   number of new onsite systems             have failed per jurisdiction in        of onsite systems.
                  situation faced by small communi-       permitted in a specific jurisdiction     1993. Of those that failed, an
                  ties and to reach out to those in       in 1993, what types of systems           average of 98 were repaired or         More data collection
                  need of assistance, the NSFC            were permitted, and how many             replaced in the past year.             Work on the database will
                  began to contact local health           systems failed.                                                                 continue with NSFC technical
                                                                                                   Of those health departments re-        assistance staff contacting health
                             Data Collected to Date, by EPA Region                                 porting, an average of 30 percent      departments that have not
                                                                                                   of the homes in a given jurisdic-      provided information.
                                                           Health Departments    Region 1    13%   tion use onsite systems to treat
            700                                            Contacted             Region 2    21%
                                                                                 Region 3    45%   and dispose of their wastewater.       The original list of health
            600                                            Health Departments    Region 4    21%                                          departments was provided by
                                                           Reporting             Region 5    35%   Information from the reporting         the National Association of
                                                                                 Region 6    13%
            500                                                                  Region 7    23%   health departments shows the           County Health Officials.
                                                                                 Region 8    15%   average cost for installing or
            400                                                                  Region 9    29%   constructing a new system ranged       Angoli estimates that approxi-

                                                                                 Region 10   36%
                                                                                                   from $2,763 to $7,743. That            mately 75 percent of all local
                                                                                                   included the cost of installing any    health departments have been
            200                                                                                    type of onsite system, from a          contacted. She added that the
                                                                                                   conventional septic system to an       NSFC is in the process of compil-
            100                                                                                    innovative/alternative system, such    ing a list of the other 25 percent.
                                                                                                   as a mound system, sand filter,
                                                                                                   or aerobic system.                     “We’ve already started getting
                     1       2      3       4      5      6        7      8        9         10
                                                                                                                                          updated local health department
                                                 EPA Region
                                                                                                   Nearly 75 percent of the               contacts from the states,” said
                                                                                                   reporting health departments said      Brock McCracken, NSFC research
                  departments last May. To date,          The information collected so far         they had turned down permits           assistant, who is assisting Angoli
                  NSFC has received information           shows that the number of onsite          for onsite systems.                    with the data collection. He
                  from approximately 25 percent of        systems permitted in the reporting                                              pointed out that, for some of the
NSFC news

                  the nearly 3,000 community              jurisdictions in 1993 range from         Most popular systems                   health departments they have con-
                  health departments contacted.           zero to 4,000, with the average          The information gathered to date       tacted, this introduction to NSFC
                                                          number being 319. Typical charges        seems to indicate the most popular     services may be an important
                  Tricia Angoli, a NSFC technical         for an onsite system permit in           type of onsite system permitted is     first step in a long-term
                  assistance specialist in charge of      those jurisdictions range from           the conventional septic tank/soil      working relationship.
                  the data collection, said she is        $95 to $260.                             absorption system with the second
                  pleased with the information that                                                most popular type being the            For more information or if you
                  has been collected so far. “The         “This new collection of informa-         mound system.                          would like to provide information
                  response has been overwhelming.         tion will determine the true status                                             about onsite systems within your
                  As far as we know, this is the first    of onsite systems by going directly      Seventy-two percent of the report-     jurisdiction for the database,
                  time anybody has attempted to do        to the people who permit and             ing jurisdictions do not charge        contact Angoli or McCracken at
                  something like this.”                   install them,” said Angoli.              more for a permit if an alternative    1-800-624-8301.
                                                                                                   system is used. In addition, 83
                  Many of the local health depart-        She explains                             percent of the those reporting keep
                  ments that provided information         the data                                 records of repairs or alterations to
                  for the database put a lot of of time   collection                                                                           EPA Regions
                  and effort into their reports to        is also a
                  NSFC. “In addition, many of them        way for
                  provided research papers, reports,      NSFC to initiate a
                  regulations, and other material for     reciprocal working
                  the our files,” said Angoli.            relationship with
                                                          the local health
                  The NSFC initiated the data col-        departments. “We
                  lection in an effort to assemble the    will also now be
                  most up-to-date information about       better able to refer
                  the status of small community           callers seeking
                  onsite wastewater treatment             information to the
                  systems. It will also allow NSFC        appropriate contacts
                  to pass along information and           at the local level,”
                  technical assistance tailored to        Angoli pointed out.
                  meet the specific needs of home-
                  owners, health departments, and
                  environmental professionals in
                  those areas.

            16                                                                                                                                      S M A L L       F L O W S
 NSFC wraps up another productive, successful year
                                                                                Ibolya Gazdag, the NSFC’s              Attending the Water Environment
                                                                                exchange professional from             Federation’s 67th Annual Confer-
                                                                                Hungary, completed her three-          ence and Exposition in Chicago in
                                                                                month tour of duty at the NSFC         October were Angoli, Hause,
                                                                                in November. (See article in Fall      Solomon, Gover, Gazdag, and
                                                                                1994 issue of Small Flows.) While      Todd Olson, an NSFC engineering
                                                                                with the NSFC, she collected           research assistant. The NSFC
                                                                                information about the U.S. Envi-       delegation staffed an exhibit booth
                                                                                ronmental Protection Agency’s          and visited other exhibitors to
                                                                                (EPA) new sludge and septage           collect information for the Manu-
                                                                                regulations (40 Code of Federal        facturers and Consultants
                                                                                Regulations, Part 503). She has        Database. This database allows
                                                                                returned to her post as head of the    NSFC customers to order a
                                                                                water supply and sewerage section      customized computer search of
                                                                                of the Hungarian Ministry of           companies and consultants with
                                                                                Water Management.                      specific wastewater-related prod-
                                                                                                                       ucts, knowledge, and expertise.
                                                                                Spreading the word                     (For more information on the
 Tricia Angoli, technical assistance specialist (second from left),             Several NSFC staff members             Manufacturers and Consultants
 Clement Solomon, technical assistance specialist, and Todd Olson,              have been on the road recently to      Database, see the box on page 5.)
 engineering research assistant, explain NSFC's services at the Water           promote the NSFC, speak at
 Environment Federation’s 67th Annual Conference and Exposition                 conferences, and gather information.   NSFC Outreach Coordinator,
 in Chicago last October.                                                                                              Patricia Miller, Ph.D., attended
                                                                                Technical assistance specialists       the Ohio Environmental Health
 As everyone counted down the            became temporary full-time             Anderson and Susarla, as well as       Association Conference in
 days in 1994, the National Small        technical assistance specialists,      Gazdag, attended the First Annual      Sandusky in September. She gave
 Flows Clearinghouse (NSFC)              bringing to five the total number      Mid-Atlantic Conference on             a presentation on alternative
 counted up its accomplishments          of full-time staff members who         Environmental Finance in College       onsite systems to a group of
 for the year. By all measures, it       answer your hotline calls. (gj         Park, Maryland, in September           sanitarians and environmental
 was a busy and successful year.         Anderson, Tricia Angoli, and           where they exhibited NSFC              health administrators.
                                         Jennifer Hause are also full-time      materials and gathered
 We answered thousands of calls          technical assistance specialists.)     financial information.                 Miller also attended the 1994
 on our toll-free hotline; provided                                                                                    Kampgrounds of America (KOA)
 products to customers across the        Additionally, Hause recently           Anderson also attended the Wis-        International Convention in
 country; welcomed multitudes of         completed training to become a         consin County Code Administra-         Monterey, California, in
 new users to our computer bulletin      West Virginia Class I-S certified      tors’ Fall Conference in October.      November. There she presented
 board system; gathered information      wastewater treatment operator          He gave a presentation explaining      two mini-courses: “Onsite and
 from hundreds of local health de-       for ponds and package plants. She      the services offered by the NSFC       Small Wastewater Systems” and
 partments; participated in many         says her training and certification    and an overview of alternative         “Drinking Water Wells for
 national, state, and regional confer-   already have been helpful in pro-      wastewater treatment and               Campgrounds” to 250 campground
 ences; increased the readership of      viding technical assistance.           disposal technologies.                 operators from around the U.S.
 our newsletters; and debuted a new
 professional journal. (See the box on   The NSFC’s publications staff has                                             Continued on page 18
 this page for more 1994 statistics.)    been quite busy with the recent
                                         publication of the new Small

 In addition, we’ve recently             Flows Journal. (See box on page
 welcomed several new staff              18 for more information on how to
 members and traveled across the         subscribe.) So far the journal has
 country to attend conferences           been very well-received by our

                                                                                      a Year!
 and promote our services.               readers, and we’re already working

 Staff Changes
                                         on the next issue.
                                                                                     A brief look at the NSFC's accomplishments last year include:
 Vernon Deal joined the Environ-         To that end, Cathleen Falvey has
 mental Services and Training            been hired to serve as the editor              answered more than 22,000 hotline calls
 Division (ESTD) in October as           of the Small Flows Journal. In                 processed nearly 6,000 orders
 resource center supervisor. He is       addition, she will coordinate future           distributed more than 42,000 products
 working to consolidate, organize,       issues of PIPELINE. Kevin
                                                                                        welcomed more than 5,000 new WTIE–BBS users
 and acquire informational               Wilcox, former PIPELINE editor,
                                         has returned to graduate school.               counted more than 20,000 WTIE–BBS users
 materials that will comprise the
 ESTD’s new resource center.                                                            attended and was represented at more than 20 national,
                                                                                        state, and regional conferences
 This more comprehensive and             Additional transitions in the
 organized resource center will          publications staff include Nancy               worked with more than 20 public education groups
 allow the NSFC and its sister           Gover taking over the primary                  added nearly 400 entries to the Bibliographic Database
 programs (the National Drinking         editorial responsibilities for this            gathered information on constructed wetlands for the
 Water Clearinghouse and the             and future issues of Small Flows.              Facilities Database
 National Environmental Training         She comes to this position after               contacted nearly 3,000 local health departments nationwide
 Center for Small Communities)           four years as a Small Flows staff              to collect information on onsite wastewater treatment systems
 to better serve their customers.        writer. Jill Ross, former editor of            increased readership for both Small Flows and PIPELINE
                                         Small Flows, is now responsible                debuted the new professional journal, the Small Flows Journal
 Also in the interest of improving       for overseeing all of the publica-
 customer service, Murty Susarla         tions produced by the ESTD as
 and Clement Solomon recently            publications supervisor.

WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                               17
                  NSFC wraps up another productive, successful year                                                                                                                New BBS conferences
                                                                                                                                                                                  possible with user input
                  Continued from page 17                presentation on “National                                                          finalizing Standard 40, which
                                                        Perspectives on Onsite System                                                      covers standards and testing for      The National Small Flows
                  Miller, Anderson, Jeanne Allen,       Management.” Miller attended the                                                   aerobic treatment units.              Clearinghouse is soliciting user
                  NSFC customer service represen-       Education Committee meeting.                                                                                             comments on four proposed
                  tative, and David Pask, National                                                                                         In late January, Miller met with      new electronic conferences for
                  Onsite Demonstration Project          Miller and Pask also participated                                                  members of the Ohio and West          the Wastewater Treatment
                  technical coordinator, attended the   in the Consortium for Decentral-                                                   Virginia YMCA Citizens Conser-        Information Exchange Bulletin
                  American Society of Agricultural      ized Wastewater Treatment                                                          vation Corps in Tucker County,        Board Service (WTIE–BBS).
                  Engineers’ (ASAE) Seventh             Systems meeting held in                                                            West Virginia, to formalize project
                  International Symposium on            conjunction with the ASAE                                                          ideas for the group. Members of       Conferences being considered
                  Individual and Small Community        and NOWRA meetings.                                                                state and federal environmental       include:
                  Sewage Systems in Atlanta,                                                                                               agencies attended.                     • Upcoming federal
                  Georgia, in December.                 January found Miller traveling                                                                                              legislation and water
                                                        to Michigan where she exhibited                                                    Angoli described the NSFC and            quality regulations;
                  Miller, Pask, and Mori, ESTD          NSFC materials at the Michigan                                                     the NODP, presented the results        • Innovative and experimental
                  manager, also attended the            Onsite Wastewater Disposal                                                         of the NSFC’s new database con-          wastewater technologies and
                  National Onsite Wastewater            Conference, the oldest state onsite                                                taining information about onsite         the U.S. Environmental
                  Recycling Association’s               conference in the country.                                                         systems (see article on page 16),
                                                                                                                                                                                    Protection Agency’s (EPA)
NSFC activities
                  (NOWRA) Annual Meeting in                                                                                                and exhibited NSFC materials at
                                                                                                                                                                                    Environmental Technology
                  Altanta in December. Mori             While in Michigan, she also                                                        the Sixth Annual On-Site
                                                                                                                                                                                    Initiative, particularly
                  attended meetings of the NOWRA        participated in the National                                                       Sewage Treatment and Disposal
                                                                                                                                                                                    concerning onsite
                  board of directors, of which he is    Sanitation Foundation’s Standards                                                  Conference in Auburn, Alabama,
                                                                                                                                                                                    wastewater treatment;
                  a member, Pask gave a                 Committee meeting that is                                                          in January.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Watershed management
                                                                                                                                                                                    topics, specifically onsite
                                                                                                                                                                                    wastewater systems and
                                                                                                                                                                                    technology and management
                        S I G N U P N O W T O R E C E I V E Y O U R                                                                                                                 issues in the context of
                                                                                                                                                                                    watershed protection; and

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Secondary school teachers
                                                                                                                                                                                    and students.

                                                                                                                                                                                 Brad Maust, system operator,
                                                                                                                                                                                 encourages readers and users to
                                                                                                                                                                                 voice their opinions.
                                                                                                                                                                                 “I welcome everyone’s
                                                                                                                                                                                 comment. The input we get
                                                                                                                                                                                 from users helps us make a
                                                                                                                                                                                 decision about what
                                                                                                                                                                                 conferences will best serve the
                                                         SUBSCRIPTION TO                                                                                                         public,” Maust said. “We’re

                                  The Small Flows Journal                                                                                                                        interested in having topical
                                                                                                                                                                                 issues and using the BBS as
                                                                                                                                                                                 a tool to gather and

                          T  he Small Flows Journal, the only
                          professional journal devoted specifi-
                                                                                                            Volume 1, Issue 2 of the journal will
                                                                                                            be published in late spring, so call
                                                                                                                                                                                 disseminate information.”

                                                                                                                                                                                 In addition to these possible
                                                                                                                                                                                 conferences, the NSFC is
                          cally to small wastewater flows, is                                               now to ensure your free subscription:                                considering adding a discussion
                          now available from the National Small                                              1-800-624-8301.                                                     group for high school teachers
                          Flows Clearinghouse (NSFC). The                                                                                                                        and students. “I have noticed an
                                                                                                                                                                                 increasing number of high
                          journal highlights the lastest research                                           For those readers who are concerned                                  school teachers and students
                                    in the field and is juried by a                                         that the Small Flows Journal is re-                                  logging onto the system to learn
                                    panel of national experts in                                            placing the Small Flows newsletter,                                  more about various water
                                    small flows.                                                                                                                                 topics,” Maust said.
                                                                                                            don’t worry! The newsletter will
                                                                                                            continue to be published on its                                      “We would like to put together
                          A complimentary copy of the                                                             regular quarterly schedule.                                    a special conference for the

                          premier issue of the jour-                                                                                                                             teachers and students and offer

                                                       The                                                                                                                       the assistance of our technical

                          nal was mailed in Decem-                                            L                        Any readers interested in s


                                                                                                                   O                                                             staff or various colleagues in
                          ber to everyone on the                                                                       ubmitting manuscripts for                                 the small wastewater treatment
                          Small Flows newsletter
                          mailing list. However, you MALL
                                                                                                                        future issues of the journal
                                                                                                                         should contact Cathie
                                                                                                                                                                                 field,” he explained.

                          must call the NSFC or                      A collecti
                                                                                 on of        FL                          Falvey, the journal’s                                  For more information about
                                                                                       al papers
                                                                                                                                                                                 WTIE–BBS, or to voice your
                          return the postage paid

                                                                       on the stud
                                                                                            y of onsite
                                                                                                                          managing editor, at
                                                                                                                       Volume 1,

                                                                         and small
                                                                                            community                                                                            opinion about the conferences,

                          subscription card that was                      wastewater
                                                                                                                           the NSFC.
                                                                                                                               e 1, Fall

                                                                                        S   MALL F
                                                                                                                                                                                 call Maust at 1-800-624-8301.


                          included in the journal to                                                                                                                             You also may leave a message



                                                                                      EA           O

                          continue receiving it.                                                                                                                                 on WTIE–BBS for Maust. To
                                                                                                                                                                                 access the system, dial 1-800-
                                                                                                                                                                                 544-1936 or 1-304-293-5969.

             18                                                                                                                                                                          S M A L L       F L O W S
                                   Small Flows 1994 Article Index
 Below is a list of all articles published in Small Flows during 1994. If    u NFSC offers state regulations guides
 you would like to receive back issues of the newsletter or photocopies of   u Training needs identified for operators
 individual articles, just check the appropriate boxes, fill in the order    u NDWC offers operator training materials, new system cost model

 information below, and return this form to us. Back issues of Small
 Flows and photocopies of individual articles are free. Please include       u SUMMER 1994
 $2.00 for shipping and handling.                                            u Alaskan villages earmarked for $15 million matching funds for
                                                                               wastewater/water upgrades
 The National Small Flows Clearinghouse Publications Index, which lists      u Save the River grassroots campaign a success in New York
 all articles published in Small Flows and PIPELINE, is also available
                                                                             u Experts divided on discharging water softener residuals into
 at no charge.
                                                                               septic tanks
  u WINTER 1994 - COLD CLIMATE ISSUE                                         u EPA report provides consensus on SF constructed wetlands
                                                                             u Sanitation conditions in Alaska compared to Third World countries
  u Mr. and Mrs. Fish spawn learning and laughter
                                                                             u RCAC offers Native American training program
  u Lateral thinking in groundwater flow: introducing contour
                                                                             u Watershed management resources available
    disposal fields
                                                                             u $5.9 million designated for Indian Set-Aside program
  u Watershed management of lakes saves money and protects
                                                                             u NAWQA evaluates water quality in nation’s watersheds
    the environment
                                                                             u USGS educational poster series available
  u Washington bans use of onsite system additives
                                                                             u UNESCO educational posters tackle environmental problems
  u Communities sought for additive evaluation
                                                                             u All eyes on House as CWA slows after spring push
  u Two Virginia counties regulate septic tank systems
                                                                             u EPA computer bulletin board offers sludge conference
  u Help is close to home at environmental training centers
                                                                             u EPA offers publications on sewage sludge
  u EPA cracks down on operators submitting false reports
                                                                             u EPA issues new industrial documents
  u EPA brochure details waterborne disease research
                                                                             u Pollution prevention program promotes clean water
  u CSU offers correspondence courses for operators
                                                                             u Water Quality Information Center offers variety of services
  u EPA issues environmental rules guide for small governments
                                                                             u Alternative system conference videotapes available
  u Survey estimates wastewater treatment needs
                                                                             u Guidebook focuses on groundwater education strategies
  u Work continues on Clean Water Act reauthorization
                                                                             u New onsite wastewater treatment book available
  u Onsite demonstration project moving ahead
                                                                             u Groundwater toll-free hotline available in Michigan
  u Cross-cultural watershed monitoring is GREEN focus
                                                                             u Consultants should protect themselves from lawsuits
  u EPA Region 3 recognizes environmental education
                                                                             u NSFC county survey documents nation’s onsite systems
  u Litigation: Is it the answer?
  u Three EPA publications offer help with sludge rule
  u NATaT offers information                                                 u   FALL 1994
                                                                             u   Students learn watershed management with hands on experience
  u Proceedings published by TX onsite wastewater council
                                                                             u   EPA’s new CSO policy tackles tough environmental issues
  u NSFC’s outreach effort is a busy two-way street
                                                                             u   Demonstrations showcase alternative systems
  u Septic tank regulations book, contact list available from NSFC
                                                                             u   Hungarian engineer visits NSFC
  u NDWC creates health effects conference on DWIE-BBS
                                                                             u   WEF offers CSO publications
                                                                             u   NSFC offers CSO brochure
  u SPRING 1994
                                                                             u   EPA publishes new septage, sludge guides
  u New EPA Water Administrator says small communities will win
                                                                             u   EPA offers new environmental publications
    big under CWA, SDWA reauthorization proposals
                                                                             u   NDWC offers groundwater teleconference video
  u City, towns eye partnership to protect NY watersheds
                                                                             u   NETCSC training resources catalog available
  u Drip soil absorption is newest disposal alternative
                                                                             u   Does a consultant need a written contract?
  u Calculating area for a drip soil absorption disposal field
                                                                             u   WATS Q & A
  u Norwood is site of Georgia’s first municipal drip system
                                                                             u   Letters to the editor
  u Watershed management controversy: big city vs. small towns
                                                                             u   NSFC updates Facilities Database service
  u Small Town Task Force committee meets for the first time
                                                                             u   CWA reauthorization is unlikely this year
  u Needs survey, sludge document now available
                                                                             u   Task Force to present recommendations to Browner
  u Administration’s position on CWA reauthorization released
                                                                             u   Task Force identifies small town differences
  u CWA bills progress in House, Senate
                                                                             u   Task Force offers principles to help small towns
  u Census figures show that onsite systems are here to stay
                                                                             u   NSFC offers EFIN access through new computer bulletin board
  u Maryland program helps treatment facilities save money and energy
  u Suggestions to help reduce electric costs for wastewater
    treatment plants
  u California approves residential graywater reuse standards                    Name _____________________________________________
  u Plumbing standards take effect, DOE drafts rules for products
                                                                                 Title ______________________________________________
  u Desert House demonstrates water and energy savings
  u Projects demonstrate, evaluate wastewater alternatives                       Affiliation __________________________________________
  u WTIE-BBS adds NODP conference
                                                                                 Address ___________________________________________
  u Organizations provide valuable environmental information
  u New WAVE may be the future for major hotel chains                            City _______________________ State _____ Zip _________
  u Sewer system case contains valuable lessons for small communities
                                                                                 Name _____________________________________________
  u Proposals sought for innovative ideas in water and sewage treatment
  u Water conservation handbook available                                        Telephone _________________________________________
  u NSFC bulletin board links professionals around the country
                                                                                 FAX ______________________________________________

WINTER 1 9 9 5                                                                                                                                     19
                In this issue . . .                                              Please help us clean up our act!
                                                                                 We are currently working to clean     newsletters or need to have your
                 1   Gloucester first to construct onsite project alternatives   up our Small Flows mailing list       address updated, please call us at
                                                                                 and we need your help. If you are     1-800-624-8301. Thanks for
                 1   ETI promotes use, development of innovative technologies    receiving multiple copies of our      helping us to better serve you.

                 3   NODP communities demonstrate alternatives

                 6   Ten steps assist in selecting, working with engineer
                 8   NSFC offers guide to wastewater and water budgeting
                                                                                 session to be offered
                                                                                 A course designed to help local       maintaining environmental
                 9   West Virginia voters clear way for bond sewage fund         officials improve wastewater, solid   systems. It is intended for trainers
                                                                                 waste, and drinking water manage-     who will deliver the course to
                10   Fund provides low-interest loans for wastewater and water   ment in small communities is          local officials.
                                                                                 being offered by the National
                10   GAO report explains benefits of alternative systems         Environmental Training Center for     The course is cosponsored by
                                                                                 Small Communities (NETCSC) on         the National Association of
                11   Letters to the editor                                       March 8, in San Diego, California.    Counties (NACo), the National
                                                                                                                       Association of Towns and
                12   U.S. EPA offers new, free environmental software
                                                                                 Called the Basics of Environmen-      Townships (NATaT), and the
                13   Program targets restaurants with onsite systems             tal Systems Management (BESM)         Rural Community Assistance
                                                                                 for Local Officials, the course       Program (RCAP). It is being held
                15   Calendar of Events                                          covers the fundamentals of            in conjunction with the RCAP
                                                                                 selecting, siting, financing,         national convention. For more
                                                                                 constructing, operating, and          information, contact Sandy Miller
                                                                                                                       at 1-800-624-8301 extension 536.

              National Small Flows Clearinghouse
Small Flows

              West Virginia University                                                                                        NONPROFIT
              P.O. Box 6064                                                                                                 ORGANIZATION
              Morgantown, WV 26506-6064                                                                                      U.S. POSTAGE
                                                                                                                             PERMIT NO. 34
                                                                                                                           MORGANTOWN, WV

                  For more information about the services provided by the National Small Flows Clearinghouse, please call 1–800–624–8301.

          20                                                                                                                     S M A L L       F L O W S
WINTER 1 9 9 5   21

To top