A WWETT Show seminar encourages the industry to step up lobbying efforts.

One-third of Americans utilize septic systems yet only 2 cents of every $5 of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funds dedicated to wastewater are used to promote decentralized wastewater issues. There's something wrong with this picture, says Eric Casey, executive director of the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association.

Casey told a seminar group at the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show that the industry needs to step up lobbying efforts to convince the federal government to do a more thorough job of promoting onsite solutions. His talk was part of the WWETT Show Education Day seminar program Monday in Indianapolis.

NOWRA, with the help of wastewater industry manufacturers and a handful of service providers, in 2014 hired a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., to promote industry causes. One positive result of those efforts includes an informational meeting between elected representatives and Congressional staff members.

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Casey laid out three top goals of the lobbying effort during the seminar:

  1.   Encourage more federal funding for onsite programs from money already being spent by EPA.
  2.   Increase market share for onsite systems in America.
  3.   Change EPA policies that discriminate against the onsite industry.

Casey told the group that the decentralized wastewater industry accounts for 150,000 jobs in the United States and is a major engine for small-business growth. He added that further potential job creation in the industry is a point that makes members of Congress sit up and take notice.

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