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TX-OSSF Pollutants in the Dispersal Area - Abit

Presentation: What Happens to OSSF Pollutants in the Dispersal Area

On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSF) are designed to treat key pollutants in wastewater before effluent is released to the environment. While the complete removal of pollutants is ideal, OSSFs are mainly designed to reduce the concentration of certain pollutants to levels that pose very minimal risk when the effluent is ultimately dispersed. This means that when treated effluent eventually find its way to the soil treatment area (STA), it will still have pollutants like nitrogen, phosphorus, pathogenic bacteria, and other pollutants. The decision related to where and how to disperse treated effluent to the environment largely depends on soil properties at the STA. Whether the pollutants in the effluent are sorbed, transformed, and/or rendered immobile will largely depend on the treatment ability and capacity of the soil. This talk will start with a discussion about the negative effects of key pollutants in OSSF effluents. It will then be followed with detailed discussions about the fates in the soil of nitrogen, phosphorus, pathogenic bacteria, and emerging contaminants. At the end of the talk, participants are expected to have a better understanding of the fates of OSSF pollutants in the soil and to gain an improved appreciation of the ability of the soil to accomplish treatment.

Dr. Sergio Abit is the State Specialist for onsite wastewater treatment systems in the State of Oklahoma. He got his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Soil Science at the North Carolina State University where he specialized in environmental soil physics and hydropedology. He has conducted research and published scientific articles concerning the fates on nitrogen, phosphorus and bacteria in soil systems. As a State Specialist, he oversees the state-wide extension effort geared towards addressing the training and educational needs of various stakeholder groups in the onsite wastewater industry and organizes the Oklahoma’s annual onsite wastewater conference. He is also a faculty member of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the Oklahoma State University where he teaches various undergraduate- and graduate-level soil science courses. Dr. Abit also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Onsite Wastewater Association.