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

Technologies and Performance

Onsite water supplies and wastewater disposal alternatives can help towns achieve higher development densities in areas that lack public water and sewer service.  The minimum lot sizes needed to install onsite septic systems can vary based on local site and soil conditions, and they require minimum setbacks from onsite drinking supply wells, property lines, and surface waters.  If towns insist on minimum lot sizes of 1-2 acres to accommodate onsite septic systems, even in their designated growth areas, the cumulative impacts of individual lot-by-lot development and multiple-lot subdivisions will consume large quantities of available land .  

The first 4 links below provide many ways that current state regulations, recent technology improvements, and new management models give developers, planners, and designers more options for meeting land use planning, public health, and environmental goals while also promoting economic development in designated growth areas. The final 2 links provide details on the performance of conventional septic systems relative to public and environmental health.


Related Work Plan Components

Workgroup Contacts

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

In Washington County: Judy East