Decentralized systems are proving their value beyond traditional use in rural settings, treating larger volumes of wastewater in diverse applications while easing O&M concerns.
Communities desiring a smart growth strategy that incorporates planned residential and commercial development to support community resiliency need a solid wastewater treatment plan. Where a centralized wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) is not available, planned growth can still be a reality by incorporating cluster and individual treatment approaches and considering new technologies including aerobic treatment units (ATUs), combined treatment and disposal systems, and cluster systems.
These approaches are scalable to accommodate the collection and treatment of large volumes of wastewater onsite and then discharge of the processed effluent to the aquifer near the point of origin. The replenished aquifer can then recharge wetlands for wildlife, maintain base flow, and in the case of coastal cities and towns, counteract saltwater intrusion.
While decentralized systems have and will continue to serve the rural areas outside city limits, the notion that the decentralized system is only there to serve small, single-family homes has been transformed with large decentralized systems handling flow rates more than 1 MGD. Businesses and communities no longer need to wait for a centralized option to grow and are finding that the decentralized approach offers the performance they need at a price tag they can afford.