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 Removing Barriers to Evaluation and Use of Decentralized Wastewater Technologies and Management
Carl Etnier, Mary Clark, Ron Crites, D. Scott Johnstone, Richard Pinkham, Christy Terhune
Item Number: NRL2006AC-13
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Price: $20.00
The engineering community in the United States has focused on centralized wastewater solutions to meet their municipal clients’ needs. The engineering community surely is aware of decentralized technologies, and yet something stops most engineers from subjecting them to an equitable analysis against their centralized sibling. We will present the final results of a project focused on understanding and overcoming the barriers to equitable evaluation of decentralized wastewater treatment technologies. The first part of this project identified the barriers through literature review and interviews. The project team classified the barriers found into five categories:
• Engineers’ financial reward for using centralized systems
• Engineers’ lack of knowledge of decentralized systems
• Engineers’ unfavorable perception of decentralized systems
• Unfavorability of the regulatory system for decentralized systems
• Lack of systems thinking applied to wastewater issues
At a forum held during last year’s conference of NOWRA (National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association), we presented the barriers found and solicited input on both the barriers themselves and how to overcome them. This year, we have identified the types of barriers in each sector which have the greatest impact. Such an analysis provides a means to focus attention on those areas with the greatest opportunity to produce meaningful change. For each influential barrier, the project team has identified various options for resolving or removing the barrier: methods, options, tools, laws, organizational designs, business models, curriculum design, financial design, educational programming, and other ideas to promote the necessary change. The solutions presented are a work in progress; they have been submitted for feedback to colleagues. A final report is expected to be published by early 2007. This project was funded by the Water Environment Research Foundation.