Looking for help in providing proper treatment of residential and commercial wastewater to ensure environmental and public health, Harris County, Texas partnered with NSF International (www.nsf.org) to implement the NSF Onsite Wastewater Monitoring Program. The program is designed to provide service providers, health departments, businesses, and homeowners independent monitoring and recording of onsite wastewater system service and maintenance.

According to NSF, systems that treat wastewater onsite rather than being delivered to a central treatment facility often receive less frequent maintenance and service, and improperly maintained systems can pose a serious risk to public health and the environment — an issue NSF’s onsite monitoring program aims to address.

Harris County is the third largest county in the United States with a population of over four million. It is the first county in the country to require all commercial systems to use the NSF monitoring program, thus reducing groundwater contamination and harmful impact on the environment.

As of Oct. 1, 2006, residential onsite wastewater treatment systems equipped with the NSF Onsite Monitoring Program will be granted a reduction in maintenance requirements. This reduction, which includes the elimination of sampling and analysis requirements, is expected to save service providers and homeowners time and cost.

With the NSF Onsite Monitoring Program, onsite wastewater service providers, installers, homeowners, and public health officials throughout the country are now able to log onto a secured NSF Web site and immediately know:
• If and when treatment systems have been serviced.
• When maintenance is scheduled to occur.
• When alarms are activated and responded to, and by whom.
• When service contracts are set to expire.

RMSYS, a Texas-based company that provides remote telemetry and critical onsite system information and tracking, is working with NSF to enable a service that can be used with all wastewater systems to immediately notify service providers of any alarm activity via e-mail, cell phone, or pager text message. The technology will be available free to the regulatory community, allowing public health officials to effectively monitor service and alarm status from their office, as well as have routine system tracking of the locations of onsite systems, type of systems installed, and responsible maintenance provider.

For more information about the program and to view a demo, visit www.nsf.org/business/wastewater_treatment/Onsite_5.0.pdf.