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Septic Systems

Decentralized System Partners

EPA's Decentralized Wastewater Management Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Partnership

EPA and 18 partner organizations are joined by an MOU to work collaboratively at the national level to improve decentralized performance and protect the nation's public health and water resources. EPA initiated this MOU partnership in 2005 through an MOU with eight public and private sector organizations. The MOU has expanded over the 12 years, comprised of 18 partners as of November 2017.

Logos of EPA's decentralized partners: Association of Clean Water Administrators, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, Environmental Council of the States, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ground Water Protection Council, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, National Association of Towns and Townships, National Association of Wastewater Technicians, National Environmental Health Association, National Environmental Services Center, National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, National Rural Water Association, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Rural Community Assistance Partnership, State Onsite Regulators Alliance, The Water Research Foundation, and the Water Environment Federation.

2017 Decentralized Wastewater Management MOU

The 2017 MOU renewed the commitment of EPA and its partner organizations to work together to encourage proper management of decentralized systems and increase collaboration among EPA, state and local governments, and decentralized system practitioners and providers.

2017 MOU Signing Event

At the MOU signing event, 18 public and private sector organizations expressed their intent to work together to improve management of decentralized wastewater.

Decentralized MOU Participants, November 14, 2017 (photo credit: Eric Vance, U.S. EPA)
Top Row (left to right): Gaida Mahgoub (U.S. EPA, ORISE), Heidi Faller (U.S. EPA), Zach Lowenstein (U.S. EPA), Tim Williams (WEF), Alexandra Dunn (ECOS), Deirdre Mason (ASDWA), Gene Bassett (NAWT), Dr. Sharunda Buchanan (CDC/ NCEH), Dain Hansen (IAPMO), Julia Anastasio (ACWA), Sandra Whitehead (NEHA), James Blumenstock (ASTHO)
Bottom Row (left to right): Dr. Amit Pramanik (WE&RF), Sharon Steiner (NSF), Mary Clark (SORA), Dr. Andrew Sawyers (U.S. EPA), Matt Holmes (NRWA), Michael Shapiro (U.S. EPA), Jim Bell (NOWRA), Dr. Richard Bajura (NESC), Nathan Ohle (RCAP)

Jim Bell (NOWRA President) signs the Decentralized MOU Agreement, November 14, 2017 (photo credit: Eric Vance, U.S. EPA)

2017 Decentralized MOU Renewal Press Releases 

View press releases by partners to the 2017 Decentralized MOU renewal reaffirming their commitment to work collaboratively with EPA and other partners to improve decentralized performance and protect public health and water resources:

Papers by the Decentralized Wastewater Management MOU Partnership

View four position papers prepared by the MOU Partnership for state, local, and tribal government officials, and interested stakeholders. These materials include information on the uses and benefits of decentralized wastewater treatment and examples of where it has played an effective role in a community's wastewater treatment infrastructure. 

  • Introduction to Decentralized Wastewater Treatment: A Sensible Solution
  • Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Can Be Cost Effective and Economical
  • Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Can Be Green and Sustainable
  • Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Can Protect the Environment, Public Health, and Water Quality

Webcasts by the Decentralized Wastewater Management MOU Partnership

View webcasts sponsored by the MOU Partnership. Since October 2010, the EPA Decentralized MOU Partnership has sponsored a series of webcasts discussing issues of interest to the decentralized community.


Additional Affiliates to the Decentralized Program

IHS's goal is to assure that comprehensive, culturally acceptable personal and public health services are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people.

Provides information for county officials, including legislative affairs, projects and programs, and conferences and events.

Offers tools and programs for local health officials on various issues. It also offers an up-to-date review of public advocacy issues and a comprehensive bookstore.

The Water Program section of this website has information on grant programs and informative pamphlets.

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