Strategies for Rural Development in Areas with Limited Public Infrastructure: Alternative Septic Systems

Precautions on Small Lots

Maine’s geology is highly variable.  Certain situations call for particular caution.  Maine’s Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules are fairly comprehensive in describing most of the likely site challenges.  Challenging topography, sensitive environmental conditions, and environmental best practices can sometimes dictate requirements for individual lot sizes that will need to be larger larger than the 20,000 square foot minimum size considered optimal for compact development.  Situations that require careful engineering analysis and planning include:  

System design engineer Joan Brooks, PhD, a.k.a. "The Peat Lady" explains why Peat Filtering Systems are an ideal solution for small, water-front lots:

( 6 min. 3 sec. Video)


[1] Valiela, Ivan, December 1992. “Couplings of Watersheds and Coastal Waters: Sources and Consequences of Nutrient Enrichment in Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts.” Estuaries, vol. 15, no. 4. 


Related Work Plan Components

Workgroup Contacts

In Aroostook County: Jay Kamm, Ken Murchison, Joella Theriault

In Washington County: Judy East