Skip to main content

TX-Roles in Water Infrastructure - Dr. Robert Rubin

Keynote: Onsite’s Role in the Future of Water Infrastructure

Abstract: Onsite wastewater treatment and dispersal systems have long been viewed as a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Throughout history, management of human waste has been a challenge. Traditional onsite wastewater systems, a septic tank and associated soil absorption system, have been in continuous use in the U.S. and other countries since Mouras patented the septic tank. Today, advanced onsite wastewater systems are routinely placed into the decentralized infrastructure portfolio as regulators learn more about the assimilative capacity of receiving environments. Our evolving definition of receiving environments extends well beyond the property boundary and site assessments can include adjacent surface waters and underlying groundwater resources. The site assessments, designs, and management strategies for these onsite systems increasingly address these broad environmental and health related compliance boundaries. This talk is intended to address requirements for this future onsite wastewater infrastructure as a permanent element of the water management.

Dr. A. Robert Rubin, Professor Emeritus, North Carolina State University - Bio and Ag Engineering served the department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and NC State University from 1978 until 2004. He was first appointed as an extension specialist and progressed through the ranks to become to professor in 1996. Rubin has conducted one of the most dynamic and far reaching programs in wastewater management and biosolids recovery/disposal in the United States. His innovative technology transfer efforts, aimed at training operational personnel, regulators, and government officials, were second to none and extremely well attended.
Rubin provided national leadership in the critically important areas of rural water quality and wastewater management, as evidenced by his invitation to address Congressional committees that deal with those problems throughout the U. S.
In June of 2003, Dr. Rubin was presented the “Bronze Medal for Commendable Service” by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This was a very deserved and fitting honor for an individual who devoted his professional career to enhancing the performance and reliability of wastewater treatment systems.
His work in this area is so widely known he was asked to give the keynote speech at the 2007 International Water Congress in Spain. This conference was focused on sanitation for small communities and was a prelude to the 2008 International Year of Sanitation.
Since his retirement Rubin has continued in the industry through consulting with industry, the State of North Carolina and NSF International. He also has served as a visiting scientist with the USEPA.