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Webinar | The Future of Septic Systems in Rural Coastal Areas: Considering the Options

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Date and Time: 3-30-2023 @ 12:00 PM (EDT) to 3-30-2023 @ 01:00 PM (EDT)
Location: Online Event

Description: Decentralized or “on-site” wastewater treatment systems, often referred to as septic systems, are a common method of treating wastewater in rural areas. These systems are typically designed to work under the site’s environmental conditions at the time of installation—so what happens when an area becomes more prone to flooding? What challenges do property owners and communities face when systems reach the end of their lifespan and soil conditions have changed? What are the pros and cons of connecting properties to centralized sewer systems? What are the costs and benefits of different solutions, and how can future conditions be factored into these decisions?

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding current and future issues related to decentralized wastewater treatment systems
  • Threats to functionality from increased flooding and rising water tables
  • Health and water quality impacts of failing systems
  • Different solutions that are available
  • Potential funding and financing mechanisms
  • Economic and practical/logistical challenges
  • Important long-term planning considerations related to growth/development and infrastructure in rural coastal areas


Stephanie P. Dalke, Program Manager, Water Resources and Climate Adaptation, University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center

Molly Mitchell, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor and MA Program Director, Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Bob Wood, Mayor, Town of Slaughter Beach, Delaware

Hans Medlarz, P.E., County Engineer, Sussex County, Delaware

John Ashman, Director of Utility Planning, Sussex County, Delaware

Certificate: This webinar has NOT been submitted for continuing education credit approval. We can provide a certificate of attendance to eligible attendees but cannot guarantee it will meet your PDH or CEU requirements.

Who Should Attend:

  • Managers, owners, and operators of wastewater systems with an average daily flow of less than 1 million gallons
  • Decision-makers for wastewater utilities, including mayors, finance officers, utility managers, public works directors, city councilors, board members, tribal council members, and clerks
  • Consultants and technical assistance providers serving wastewater systems


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