. "5 Water Quality Improvement: Decision-Making Strategies and Technical Solutions." Regional Cooperation for Water Quality Improvement in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2005.
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Regional Cooperation for Water Quality Improvement in Southwestern Pennsylvania
BOX 5-7 Management Models
Management Model 1 “Homeowner Awareness”
Treatment systems are owned and operated by individual property owners in areas of low environmental sensitivity.
Treatment technologies are limited to conventional systems that require little owner attention. Regulatory authority mails maintenance reminders to owners at appropriate intervals.
Management Model 2 “Maintenance Contracts”
More complex designs are employed to enhance the capacity of conventional systems to accept and treat wastewater.
Contracts with qualified technicians are needed to ensure proper and timely maintenance.
Management Model 3 “Operating Permits”
Applicable sustained performance of treatment systems is critical to protect public health and water quality.
Limited-term operating permits are issued to the owner and are renewable for another term if the owner demonstrates that the system is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit.
Management Model 4 “Responsible Management Entity (RME) Operation and Maintenance”
Frequent and highly reliable operation and maintenance of decentralized systems is required to ensure water resource protection in sensitive environments.
An operating permit is issued to an RME instead of the property owner to provide the needed assurance that appropriate maintenance is performed.
Management Model 5 “RME Ownership”
This provides the greatest assurance of system performance in the most sensitive of environments; program elements and activities for treatment systems are owned, operated, and maintained by the RME.
SOURCE: EPA, 2003b.
In the context of the Pittsburgh region, projects with comparable outcomes would be those that produce essentially the same impacts on water quality for all water quality criteria. However, many feasible projects may fare better by some water quality criteria than by others. If multiple water quality criteria are important, projects with differing water quality outcomes may not be comparable for the purposes of cost-effectiveness analysis. Benefit-cost analysis would allow comparisons between such projects. Further, benefit cost-analysis would allow inclusion of ancillary benefits if any. Importantly, to be useful in setting priorities for projects and policies, estimates of benefits and costs must be tied to the water quality gains from specific initiatives.
Although different techniques of varying data intensiveness exist to estimate the benefits of reducing the risks of waterborne disease, essential information is lacking for estimating the relationships between CSO control and the likelihood and severity of contamination events. For example, a key question that cannot be answered with current data on sources of pathogens and the effectiveness of prospective control measures (see also Chapter 4) is the extent to which the likelihood of contamination events in various systems will be diminished. Recent work by Casman et al. (2000) illustrates an approach to modeling drinking water risks that would offer a good starting point for systematic analysis of risk management in the region. Further, for the