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Background Use of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems

COURSE NO: C02-008
COURSE PROVIDER: Gilbert Gedeon, P.E.
Background Use of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course describes how onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) have evolved throughout the years along with changing regulations. It also discusses current uses and types (performance-based vs. prescriptive requirements) of OWTS as well as the management program problems associated with such systems. Finally, this course presents initiatives taken to improve onsite system treatment and management.


Onsite wastewater treatment systems have evolved from the pit privies used widely throughout history to installations capable of producing a disinfected effluent that is fit for human consumption. Although achieving such a level of effluent quality is seldom necessary, the ability of onsite systems to remove settleable solids, floatable grease and scum, nutrients, and pathogens from wastewater discharges defines their importance in protecting human health and environmental resources. In the modern era, the typical onsite system has consisted primarily of a septic tank and a soil absorption field, also known as a subsurface wastewater infiltration system, or SWIS.


This 2 PDH  online course is applicable to civil and environmental engineers, as well as design and construction personnel involved with the design and installation of onsite wastewater treatment systems.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Regulation of onsite wastewater treatment systems
  • Onsite wastewater treatment system use, distribution, and failure rate
  • Problems with existing onsite wastewater management programs
  • Performance-based management of onsite wastewater treatment systems
  • Coordinating onsite system management with watershed protection efforts
  • USEPA initiatives to improve onsite system treatment and management
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review Chapter 1 of the EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual, EPA/625/R-00/008, "Background Use of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems". 

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Background Use of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (1.4 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of ten (10) questions to earn 2 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on Chapter 1 of this EPA publication.


The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: