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Managing Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems

Jim Newton, P.E., DEE

Course Outline

This six- hour course provides valuable information for those individuals who are interested in ensuring that onsite wastewater treatment systems are properly operated and maintained to ensure environmental and regulatory complaince. Completion of this course will provide the student the necessary information and testing to meet the continuing education requirements in order to renew their onsite designer and installer licenses required by most states. It was designed by an instructor who has developed and implemented numerous similar training courses.

This course requires the completion of a multiple-choice quiz at its conclusion in order to obtain the necessary certification for the individuals who are seeking to renew their license to design and install OWTSs.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to:

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this course is any professional who is involved in the design, regulation, installation, operation or maintenance of onsite wastewater treatment systems.

Benefit to Attendees

Attendees of this course will understand how to select, design, install or operate and maintain an onsite wastewater treatment system. This program will greatly reduce the learning curve for any professional interested in an OWTS.

Course Introduction

Approximately 50% of all households in the US utilize an onsite wastewater treatment system to treat their domestic waste. This course utilizes the document "Handbook for Managing Onsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater Treatment Systems", EPA Document No. EPA 832-B-05-001, December 2005 published by the US EPA as the basic text for designing, installing or managing an OWTS. This course will not qualify the student as a licensed septic tank designer, installer or inspector, but will provide most of the information required to take the appropriate state test. The course material presents introductory information required to obtain proficiency in the required subject matter.

Course Content

The associated course materials are contained in an Adobe Acrobat copy of the US EPA publication: Handbook for Managing Onsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater Treatment Systems, EPA Document No. EPA 832-B-05-001, December 2005:

Handbook for Managing Onsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater Treatment Systems, EPA Document No. EPA 832-B-05-001 (PDF file, 66 pages, 2 MB)

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Course Summary

This course discusses the thirteen elements of an OWTS management program, the various ways to manage the a system of OWTSs, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of management system, and how they differ.

Related Links

For additional information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:

US Environmental Protection Agency


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.