In the past decade, the onsite water treatment industry has transformed itself from a series of locally driven initiatives managed by sanitarians to an industry that is striving for a national consensus. The need for standardization has been pushed by the attention the EPA has recently been placing on upgrading the millions of privately operated onsite sources found throughout the country.

Many experts suggest that at least one out of every four new residential structures is now serviced by onsite systems. As public utilities struggle with tightening budgets and decide how to replace aging treatment facilities that are near capacity, developers are urged to adopt onsite as the only option for water treatment.

And combined with the interest that sustainable construction has in onsite treatments, the number of installations should increase at an even faster rate.

Recognizing the need for a national effort, more than 25 associations and universities have come together as one voice for educational, training, and lobbying efforts.

The Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment (CIDWT), often referred to as The On-site Consortium, is quickly becoming the industry's main voice on decentralized wastewater training and research efforts. The Onsite Consortium also includes people from educational institutions, citizens groups, regulatory agencies, and private industry.