After decades of relying almost exclusively
on the standard septic tank and leach field
to process the wastewater of nonsewered
homes, the New England states have recently
begun to approve innovative alternatives to these
"The states have now recognized that you can
do treatment other than in the soil," says Roger
Thompson, wastewater engineering manager for
the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
"That's a big change, because it not only allows
use of different technologies, but it also lets you
alter the minimum site conditions."
Thompson's observation hits at a key point:
While the six New England states stand at different
places on the path toward approving alternative
septic technologies, all now recognize rather