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Environmental Protection

Onsite/decentralized systems are the Original Green Technology. In fact, EPA issued a white paper titled Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Can Be Green and Sustainable.

Onsite/decentralized wastewater systems can treat wastewater to the same water quality standards as central sewer systems. However, there is a fundamental difference between onsite/decentralized wastewater treatment and treatment at a centralized wastewater treatment plant. Onsite/decentralized systems take advantage of the vast capacity of the soil to remove or transform pollutants as it percolates down to the groundwater. Central sewer must perform all treatment processes in within the walls of the treatment plant.

However, with the exception of the soil, the wastewater treatment processes used by each type of system are remarkably simple. Membrane bio-reactors, ultraviolet disinfection, activated sludge, bio-filters and many other treatment techniques can be found inside a central sewage treatment plant or a onsite/decentralized treatment plant.

When onsite/decentralized systems require a more sophisticated level of treatment an engineer will typically develop a custom design to treat the specific pollutants to be found in the wastestream to the level required by state and local regulations. The engineer may use multiple treatment techniques to achieve that goal.

Onsite/decentralizedsystems can do a good job controlling the amount of nitrogen and nitrates which find their way into groundwater. Many pre-engineered onsite/decentralized treatment tanks or chambers provide a considerable amount of nitrogen reduction which meets regulatory requirements.

Because they use the soil as part of their treatment, and because they don't need to move water to and from a distant municipal treatment facility, the energy footprint is much smaller than conventional sewage treatment plants.