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    "More than one in five households in the United States depend on individual onsite or small community cluster systems (septic systems) to treat their wastewater. These systems are used to treat and dispose of relatively small volumes of wastewater, usually from houses and businesses located in suburban and rural locations not served by a centralized public sewer system.

Septic systems treat wastewater from household plumbing fixtures (toilet, shower, laundry, etc.) through both natural and technological processes, typically beginning with solids settling in a septic tank, and ending with wastewater treatment in the soil via the drainfield.

Septic systems include a wide range of individual and cluster treatment systems that process household and commercial sewage. 


Septic systems are also called:

  • onsite wastewater treatment systems,

  • decentralized wastewater treatment systems,

  • cluster systems,

  • package plants,

  • on-lot systems,

  • individual sewage disposal systems, and

  • private sewage systems.

    The various types of decentralized wastewater treatment, if properly executed, can protect public health, preserve valuable water resources, and maintain economic vitality in a community. They are a cost-effective and long-term option for treating wastewater, particularly in less densely populated areas."

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