EPA has released a model program for onsite wastewater treatment systems in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to help states more effectively prevent nutrients from entering the Bay from onsite or septic systems, which will improve water quality. When properly designed, sited and maintained, decentralized systems like septic systems can treat wastewater effectively and protect surface water and groundwater. Inadequately treated sewage from decentralized systems can pose risks to human health and the environment.
The model program is part of EPA’s effort to collaborate with state and local partners in promoting nitrogen reductions from onsite systems. The model program will help implement an executive order that President Obama signed in 2009 that recognized the Chesapeake Bay as a national treasure and called on the federal government to lead a renewed effort to restore and protect the nation’s largest estuary and its watershed.