Winter 2003 issue of Small Flows Quarterly magazine now online

The Winter 2003 issue of the Small Flows Quarterly magazine can now be read on the National Small Flows Clearinghouse's web site at

MORGANTOWN, WV, March 19, 2003 -- The Winter 2003 issue of the Small Flows Quarterly magazine can now be read on the National Small Flows Clearinghouse's (NSFC) web site at

The Small Flows Quarterly offers readers information about wastewater systems, regulations, products, technologies, and health, finance, and management issues relevant to America's small communities (fewer than 10,000 people). Some articles from the Winter 2003 issue include:

"Colonia Residents Take STEPs to Improve Their Community"

by Nikki Stiles

Amigo Park I, II, and III colonias, which lie along the Texas/ Mexico border in Hidalgo County, consists of houses, mobile homes, and trailers. And like many colonias, these homeowners lacked an adequate sewage disposal system, mainly because the homes in Amigo Park had undersized septic tanks and insufficient drainfield areas.

The tanks required pumping every six months, adding up to as much as $700 a year to pump the tanks and replace failing drainfields. This article shows how the residents were introduced to the Small Towns Environment Program (STEP), which enabled them to pull together their resources and manpower to build their own sewer line extension.

"Septic System Maintenance Helps Keep Vision of Nags Head Alive"

by Nikki Stiles

Nags Head, North Carolina, is a popular vacation resort. During a typical summer day, the population of the town swells from 2,800 to 50,000 people. And with all the sun, surf, and turf, probably the last thing on these vacationers' minds is what they should and should not flush down the toilet. In order to protect the environment and the integrity of the town of Nags Head, officials are trying to change that mentality through a Septic Health Initiative program aimed at educating residents and tourists about the maintenance of septic systems. This article explains how they are working with this problem.

"Ohio Provides A New Twist To The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) Program"

by Natalie Eddy

Some Ohio homeowners looking for wastewater treatment improvements may take advantage of lower interest rate loans thanks to a new application of an old loan program. Initiated in 1987 through Title VI of the Clean Water Act, the State Revolving Fund (SRF) program provides low-interest loans to communities, individual homeowners, citizens' groups, and nonprofit organizations for water quality infrastructure improvement projects. This article describes Ohio's unique way of disbursing the SRF funds.

"How To Keep Your Water 'Well'"

by Natalie Eddy

This article was initially printed in the Summer 2002 Pipeline. It tells homeowners how to keep their private drinking water wells free from groundwater contamination, including that from failing septic systems.

Juried Paper

Performance Evaluation of a Recirculating Sand and Peat Filter in West Virginia"
by James Ebeling Ph.D., Scott Tsukuda, Joseph Hankins, and Clement Solomon

The Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute (Shepherdstown, W.V.) installed an onsite wastewater treatment system employing two different secondary treatment technologies: a peat filter and a recirculating sand filter. The project goals were to design and install, from an environmental sustainability perspective, a wastewater treatment system for a new research and office building to prevent nutrient and fecal contamination of an existing artesian spring. The monitoring of the two systems will be continued under different loading scenarios and operating conditions with and without recirculation.

"Lagoons Need Proper Operation and Maintenance"

This single-page piece was taken from a past issue of Pipeline and discusses routine inspection, testing, and maintenance for lagoon systems.

Q&A: Effluent Filters

This issue's Q&A discusses the use of a septic tank effluent filter to extend the life of an onsite system by reducing the amount of solids reaching the drainfield.

The NSFC assists small communities by collecting, developing, and providing timely information relevant to wastewater issues. Established in 1977, the NSFC is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is located at West Virginia University.

Anyone interested in protecting the environment and providing effective sewage treatment for small communities can benefit from the NSFC's services, which include more than 386 free and low-cost educational products, a toll-free technical assistance hotline, five computer databases, and two free publications.

To subscribe to Small Flows Quarterly, contact the NSFC at (800) 624-8301, (304) 293-4191, e-mail or write to PO Box 6064, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6064.

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