Goose Creek Watershed On-Site Wastewater System (Septic System)

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Title: Goose Creek Watershed On-Site Wastewater System (Septic System)
Author: Michael, Jeremy
Abstract: ABSTRACT Michael, Jeremy A. Goose Creek Watershed On-Site Wastewater System (Septic System) Failure Rate Analysis. (Under the direction of Linda Taylor). The Goose Creek Watershed located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina is home to the federally endangered Carolina heelsplitter mussel which is sensitive to many pollutants commonly found in municipal and industrial wastewater releases. On-site wastewater systems were evaluated within the Goose Creek Watershed from April 2009 through April 2011 to determine if any failing on-site wastewater systems could have had a significant impact on high fecal coliform counts found in the tributaries. This project considered how the following criteria could contribute to on-site wastewater system performance: system design, age of system, seasonal impacts, operation and maintenance, and siting location. On-site wastewater failures were found at 12 out of 1,422 sites inspected, with a failure rate of 0.84%. This failure rate is considerably lower than other failure rate studies conducted in North Carolina and abroad. Only three of the twelve failures were located within 400ft of any surface water indicating a minimal impact on-site wastewater failures may have contributed to the high fecal coliform counts throughout the watershed. Age and excessive water usage from leaks or too many people living in the residence was a major contributing factor to more than half of the failures observed. On-site wastewater systems that were sited based on the soil type, operated per design, and maintained routinely had lower impacts on failures. This may be attributed to Mecklenburg County having a licensed soil scientist on staff, along with conducting routine public management entity (PME) inspections. There was a higher failure rate observed in the wet season as opposed to the dry season. Further investigation is needed to determine other potential sources of fecal coliform found in the tributaries throughout the watershed.
Date: 2012
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.4/8158


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