Canaan Valley Institute is committed to providing high-quality wastewater treatment at affordable costs to small, rural, and low-income communities. Our staff has considerable experience in the development of regional comprehensive wastewater plans typically focusing on four components:
• Community engagement
• Identification of options
• Assistance and coordination of design and implementation
This process has proven successful in our work with communities around West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.
- Facilitate community and inter-agency meetings
- Assist local, county, and watershed groups to assess current treatment conditions
- Identify treatment alternatives including traditional and alternative technologies
- Develop projects that are relevant to and reflect local priorities
- Assist small communities with system design, permitting, and installation oversight
- Utilize geographic information systems (GIS) technology to gather, analyze, and report data
- Develop funding strategies, incorporating non-traditional sources of funds and services
- Provide targeted education programs to homeowners, local decision makers, and management entities
The answer for many rural communities lies in managed decentralized systems. That is, treatment systems that are small and dispersed to serve local needs without relying on expensive sewers to collect sewage, and managed by professionals to make them valid public utilities. These systems can provide an economically viable, environmentally sound alternative to municipal sewer systems and treatment plants.