Projecting Costs of Decentralized Wastewater Management Options

Lead Institution: University of Tennessee

Funded by:  EPA through WERF

Project completed: Fall 2010


Small community decision-makers must understand the full spectrum of wastewater management options and long-term implications of their use.  These officials are charged with the responsibility of maximizing the return on the taxpayer’s investment.  In order to make informed decisions, these officials need basic information about the performance, reliability, and cost (both the capital and life-cycle costs) of the various options. Members of the project team have completed development of two separate components for use by small community leaders and planners. These include:

1. A realistic and dynamic spreadsheet-based economic model for estimating initial capital and life-cycle costs for a full range of decentralized wastewater management options. The spreadsheet allows users to enter pertinent data on existing and proposed wastewater sources and generates estimated costs for a variety of technologies.

2. A series of Fact Sheets describing the full range of dispersal, treatment and collection technologies currently available. An introductory Fact Sheet describes the 'big picture' relative to use of decentralized options. Individual Fact Sheets provide additional detail on specific technologies in each category.

These materials are now available on line through the Water Environment Research Foundation website at this URL:



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