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New England Wastewater Training Program

The New England Onsite Wastewater Training Program has increased the use of alternative waste water treatment systems, enhanced the evaluation and maintenance of onsite waste water systems, trained a variety of audiences, and improved water quality due to the decreased release of nutrients and pathogens into the ground water. The training program, developed by the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension and funded by NIFA, is a key focus area within the New England Regional Water Program.

Primary training is conducted at the university's Peckham Farm, a demonstration, research, and field-training center for alternative septic system technologies in the Northeast. Peckham Farm is one of eight regional centers in the U.S.

Some of the training program achievements include:

  • installing and monitoring 56 demonstration systems since 1996;
  • demonstrations highlighting 15 full-scale technologies;
  • educating and training more than 2,000 members of industry, local government officials, real estate professionals, NIFA water quality professionals, and the general public, and;
  • developing computerized mapping systems to target the adoption of alternative onsite technologies in areas at high risk for septic system pollution.


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