OWS1103:      OSW Part 1 - WERF & DWRC Research and Tools;  Onsite System  Technology Transfer to China; Preliminary Discussion on the Water Softener Effects Study

Speakers:         Jeff Moeller / Karen Mancl / Pauli Undesser

Email:               jmoeller@werf.org / mancl.1@osu.edu / pundesser@wqa.org


New Decentralized Systems Research and Tools from WERF and the DWRC - Jeff Moeller

WERF and its partners recently completed several dozen decentralized systems research projects.  Learn about the new products available including reference guides, fact sheets, technology reviews, case studies, demonstration projects, training programs, spreadsheet tools, and more.


From rural areas to suburbs to cities, communities across the United States are increasingly turning to decentralized treatment approaches to help solve their stormwater and wastewater challenges.


Many communities have found that decentralized systems offer an affordable, sustainable solution that provides various economic, social, and environmental benefits. Fortunately, many resources are available to help communities make infrastructure decisions and select suitable technologies, measure performance, and manage systems. These tools include reference guides, technology reviews, case studies, demonstration projects, training programs, and more. Much of this work is the result of a multi-year collaborative effort by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and the Decentralized Water Resources Collaborative (DWRC) funded with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


To date, over 70 projects have been conducted valued at nearly $16 million in research to learn more about decentralized water and wastewater treatment. The resulting products are available at no charge to the general public.


This session will provide a high-level overview of the latest tools and research findings available from WERF and the DWRC.  The products help to address many of the most frequently asked questions in the decentralized industry such as:  What are decentralized wastewater and stormwater systems?  What benefits do decentralized water systems provide?  How can I find out if decentralized systems are right for my community?  Where are decentralized systems being used? What scientific and engineering principles are used to design decentralized systems?  What are the costs associated with decentralized water systems?  Isn’t it difficult to manage so many small systems?


All of the research products are available from the DWRC website www.decentralizedwater.org, or visit WERF’s Decentralized Knowledge Area at www.werf.org/decentralized for the latest research news and information.


Onsite Wastewater Treatment Technology Transfer to Rural China - Karen Mancl

A model for technology transfer was developed and successfully implemented in rural Shandong Province, China.


China is far ahead of the US in its rate of development and implementation of environmental technology. The 2006 5-year plan set a vision of the New Countryside and as a result huge investments have been made in rural wastewater treatment infrastructure.  The project goal was to develop a model for environmental technology transfer to rural China.  The model development considered technical, legal/policy and cultural factors.  The results far exceeded the goal.  Not only was a model developed but was successful in transferring technology.  The first sand bioreactor system has been constructed in a Chinese village of 1200 people in rural Shandong Province.  The construction cost was about 200 yuan ($30) per person.  The applied research and outreach system for sand bioreactor technology has also been developed through the Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences and connections for a national program are being made through the Chinese Biogas Institute.


Septic Tanks: Effect of Cations on Settling and Filter Fouling – Pauli Undesser


The presentation will introduce new research being conducted by Dr. Novak of Virginia Tech with funding from the Water Quality Research Foundation. The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of various water softener operation patterns on septic tank performance. If there are softener operation patterns that have a negative impact on septic performance, then the study should permit development of operational guidelines for septic systems with regard to water softener operation.


Studies have shown that in activated sludge systems an imbalance in the monovalent to divalent cation ratio (M/D) in wastewater can lead to poor flocculation.  The imbalance, typically caused by excessive sodium in relation to calcium and magnesium can lead to poor settling and high effluent suspended solids, which could clog outlet filters.  Recently, concern has been raised with regard to on-site wastewater treatment systems about the effect the M/D ratio will have on system performance, especially for septic systems operated in conjunction with home water softeners.  Water softeners operated primarily for removal of calcium and magnesium produce a discharge that has an M/D ratio that is alleged to impact septic tank performance. 


The presentation will describe research being conducted by Dr. Novak of Virginia Tech with funding from the Water Quality Research Foundation. The research will consider several aspects of softener operation to determine the impacts on septic performance such as: