As communities rapidly urbanize, the imperative to improve the performance of sanitation systems becomes more urgent. The issue of sanitation globally is a pressing health, aesthetic and social concern.

Sewer systems can be costly to implement and so use of onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) is increasing in both developing and developed countries. These OWTS provide cost-effective access to sanitation, but the state of current knowledge in this field to date does not effectively capture the reliability of OWTS over their life cycle and the reasons these systems often fail. The objective of this research is to identify factors such as demographic, financial, social and climate events that may cause systems to fail even when they are built to appropriate technical specifications to create a generalized linear model (GLM) to characterize OWTS performance variability to better inform OWTS regulations and planning. Read more...

Research by:  Professor JoAnn Silverstein and student Laura Kohler (PhD in 2016)

Example of On-site Wastewater Treatment System design