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Decentralized Wastewater Recharges Groundwater Supplies and Combats Coastal Saltwater Intrusion

The community of Los Osos, California had a long struggle in choosing the direction for wastewater treatment. The coastal community had for generations met their wastewater needs with onsite wastewater treatment systems that were now outdated.

As urban core density increased, code-sized systems could not fit the small lots. With existing systems far exceeding their design life the Regional Water Quality Control Board declared a prohibition zone that included a building moratorium. To make matters worse the agricultural community was experiencing saltwater intrusion as groundwater was pumped to meet agricultural and potable water demand.

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