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Onsite and Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Terms & Definitions

CIDWT Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Glossary
2nd Edition, October 2009

Cluster Systems: Wastewater treatment systems designed to serve two or more sewage-generating dwellings or facilities with multiple owners; typically includes a comprehensive, sequential land-use planning component and private ownership.

Collection Systems: Wastewater treatment system that conveys sewage or effluent from multiple sources to a location where treatment and dispersal occurs; see also cluster systems.

Community Systems: Publicly owned wastewater treatment system for collection, treatment and dispersal of wastewater from two or more lots, or two or more equivalent dwelling units.

Decentralized Systems: Wastewater treatment system for collection, treatment, and dispersal/reuse of wastewater from individual homes, clusters of homes, isolated communities, industries, or institutional facilities, at or near the point of waste generation.

Distributed Management: A method to manage wastewater infrastructure where a responsible management entity combines onsite, cluster, and centralized treatment in a cost effective and sustainable manner.

Individual Systems (a.k.a. Septic Systems): Wastewater treatment system designed to serve one sewage-generating dwelling or facility.

Onsite System: Wastewater treatment system relying on natural processes and or mechanical components to collect and treat sewage from one or more dwellings, buildings, or structures and disperse the resulting effluent on property owned by the individual or entity.

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