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 Reducing Onsite Wastewater System Failures
Wayne F. Lorenz, Kenneth R. Wright, and Patricia K. Flood
Item Number: NRL2006AC-24
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Onsite Wastewater System (OWS) failures represent complexities that are often difficult to define. Causes may include undersized absorption areas, improper consideration of site constraints, inadequate provision of long-term maintenance and other factors. This paper explores the history of absorption field sizing guidance over the last 50 years and reviews current absorption area sizing and size reduction practices in Colorado, along with five case studies of OWS failures. The technical guidance and case studies reviewed indicate that a key component of long-term OWS performance is ensuring that an adequately sized absorption area is provided. Additionally, policies and designs that plan for the long-term operation of OWSs are recommended. OWS districts may be one tool to improve long-term maintenance of OWSs.