On-site sanitation systems are vitally important infrastructure that is plagued by high failure rates. To address this issue, we conducted a literature review and solicited expert opinion on factors contributing to post-construction, design-life sustainability of on-site sanitation infrastructure. For this study, design-life sustainability is defined as infrastructure that is used and functions as intended throughout the asset design life. A total of fourteen experts, with both US domestic and international experience, were recruited from diverse fields such as academia, regulatory organizations, septic tank operations companies, and non-profit groups to review, add to, and comment on a list of factors generated from a content analysis of recent literature. The resulting data is a representation of the current state of the knowledge regarding factors that must be addressed in order to ensure design-life infrastructure sustainability for on-site treatment systems. Specifically, technology and economics, while necessary for system sustainability, must be complimented by knowledge, organizations, and motivational factors.

Kaminsky, J. and Javernick-Will, A. (2012). "Causes for Sustainable Maintenance and Operation of On-Site Sanitation Systems." Construction Research Congress. West Lafayette, IN. doi: 10.1061/9780784412329.228