|Fayette County Onsite Septic System Database|
Why is this Project Important?
In the aftermath of the 2001 summer floods, a diverse group of businesses, government, and local organizations from Fayette County were organized to help with the process of rebuilding and creating opportunity for growth. The members of this group formed the Fayette County Water Quality Coalition (FCWQC) and included representatives from Fayetteville retail businesses, West Virginia tourism, the rafting industry, Plateau Action Network (citizens group for community and environment), Fayette County government, and the National Park Service.
The FCWQC worked with the Green Mountain Institute, the National Wastewater Capacity Development Project, National Small Flows Clearinghouse, the Canaan Valley Institute, WV Rivers Coalition, and other watershed groups on wastewater issues specifically related to small communities and individuals in West Virginia. Through this exhaustive collaboration, the FCWQC obtained a $405,000 federal appropriation to perform studies and develop a county wide wastewater management plan.
Fayette County is one of the few counties in the state that has a comprehensive wastewater management plan. This plan provides a roadmap to protecting our water resources, improving infrastructure and providing sewer equivalency for citizens in Fayette County. The time, energy and resources dedicated to create this plan should be utilized and leveraged to improve the wastewater infrastructure and the health of our citizens.The ultimate goal is to provide sewer equivalency for every citizen in our county, and to ensure public health and safety while protecting our water resources, which includes the New and Gauley Rivers and their tributaries.
Why is an Onsite Septic System Database Necessary?
In 2005, Lombardo Associates, in association with Stafford Consultants, successfully completed a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan for Fayette County. Within this plan the existing wastewater infrastructure and future wastewater needs were documented. The goal of the County’s Wastewater Management Plan is to develop an approach to wastewater management that eliminates public health threats and improves water quality.
A key element to the onsite component of the Fayette County Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (FCCWMP) is proper management and oversight. A level 5 management model from the US EPA’s Voluntary National Guidelines for the Management of Onsite and Clustered Wastewater Treatment Systems is recommended for Fayette County (Appendix). At a minimum, all onsite systems in the County should be brought up to level 1 management, which requires an inventory of all systems. However, the inventory of existing onsite systems in the County is virtually nonexistent and needs to be created for any responsible management entity (RME) to be successful. The RME needs to know:
(a) Permit Number
(b) Installation Date
(c) Modification Date
(d) Percolation Rate
(e) Depth to bedrock
(f) Depth to groundwater
(g) Design flow
(h) Lot size
(i) Dispersal system type and area
How the database benefits the Health Department?
The database will:
1. Quantify the needs and conditions of onsite systems.
2. Identify public health issues stemming from direct discharges and malfunctioning systems.
3. Be linked with parcel information and provide spatial location of onsite systems.
4. Manage all existing and future onsite septic systems in Fayette County.
How the database benefits Fayette County?
The database will:
1. Be used to quantify cost for replacement and repair of onsite systems.
2. Provide information to leverage funds for upgrading and expanding the existing sewer system asnecessary, developing cluster systems to serve villages throughout Fayette County as appropriate, andrepairing and upgrading individual onsite systems.
3. Protect the water resources of Fayette County and the health of its citizens.
How the database benefits the Plateau Action Network?
The database will:
1. Help assess the wastewater infrastructure needs in the Wolf Creek Watershed
2. Identify the condition of onsite septic systems in the Wolf Creek Watershed
3. Identify direct discharges or malfunctioning systems in the Wolf Creek Watershed
4. Information will be used to leverage grants for onsite systems and wastewater infrastructure
5. Information will be used to help improve the water quality of Wolf Creek and the Lower New River