Onsite Wastewater Management - The Ecological Imperative

 by Curt Kerns, M.S., R.P.Bio., C.F.S.

The consensus of atmospheric scientists is that we are altering the earth's climate by releasing greenhouse gasses into the commons - the earth's atmosphere. While global climate change is often reported on, less commonly spoken about is the degradation of surface and subsurface waters by the discharge of wastewaters. Instead we have long hidden behind the euphemisn "disposal", as if it were true simply because we labelledWhile domestic wastewater was once akin to a dilute manure solution, since the industrial revolution it has increasingly become a devil's brew of endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products (EDC/PPCPs). Even advanced municipal secondary wastewater treatment does little to remove contaminants which have harmful ecological effects at parts per million, parts per billion, and even parts per trillion levels. Overly enriched lakes, gender alterations and mutations of fish and wildlife in fresh water, and harmful algae blooms or “red tides” in coastal waters are but a few direct results.

Decentralized treatment and dispersal is the ecological imperative. Properly designed, installed, and managed onsite systems are sustainable on into the future. Wastes belong on land, in soil, or wetlands, or forests, not in our waters.

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“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Albert Einstein

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