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Integrated risk framework for onsite wastewater treatment systems

Carroll, Steven P., Goonetilleke, Ashantha, Thomas, Evan C. , Hargreaves, Megan, Frost, Ray L., & Dawes, Les A. (2006) Integrated risk framework for onsite wastewater treatment systems. Environmental Management, 38(2), pp. 286-303.

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Abstract

Onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) are becoming increasingly important for the treatment and dispersal of effluent in new urbanised developments that are not serviced by centralised wastewater collection and treatment systems. However, the current standards and guidelines adopted by many local authorities for assessing suitable site and soil conditions for OWTS are increasingly coming under scrutiny due to the public health and environmental impacts caused by poorly performing systems, in particular septic tank-soil adsorption systems. In order to achieve sustainable onsite wastewater treatment with minimal impacts on the environment and public health, more appropriate means of assessment are required. This paper highlights an integrated risk based approach for assessing the inherent hazards associated with OWTS in order to manage and mitigate the environmental and public health risks inherent with onsite wastewater treatment. In developing a sound and cohesive integrated risk framework for OWTS, several key issues must be recognised. These include the inclusion of relevant stakeholders throughout framework development, the integration of scientific knowledge, data and analysis with risk assessment and management ideals, and identification of the appropriate performance goals for successful management and mitigation of associated risks. These issues were addressed in the development of the risk framework to provide a generic approach to assessing risk from OWTS. The utilisation of the developed risk framework for achieving more appropriate assessment and management techniques for OWTS is presented in a case study for the Gold Coast region, Queensland State, Australia.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Scopus
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13 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 4695
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: On, site wastewater treatment, Integrated risk assessment, Onsite wastewater treatment, Water pollution, Effluent irrigation, Septic tanks
DOI: 10.1007/s00267-005-0280-5
ISSN: 1432-1009
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Water Quality Engineering (090508)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering Modelling (090702)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering Design (090701)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink http://www.springerlink.com
Deposited On: 17 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:24

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