American Water Resources Association

How Not to Design and Regulate Onlot Residential Sewage Systems - Someone Might Be Paying Attention

  • 11 Feb 2015
  • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • One Parkway Building, 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor Planning Commission Conference Room, Philadelphia, PA
  • 53


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

Registration is closed

Please note new meeting date and room. Meetings will now be held on the second Wednesday of the month in the Planning Commission Conference Room, same building and floor.

How Not to Design and Regulate Onlot Residential Sewage Systems - Someone Might Be Paying Attention

James A. Schmid

Schmid & Co. Inc., Consulting Ecologists

Abstract:  Onlot septic tanks with drainfields are common in Pennsylvania (1.2 million in 1990; 25% of homes) and nationwide.  More than a century of experience proves that they often treat domestic sewage effectively, with little maintenance and no moving parts or expenditure of energy.  But we now know that they seldom reduce nitrogen wastes sufficiently to protect our streams and estuaries.

James A. Schmid is a biogeographer and plant ecologist.  Before he finished his Ph. D. at the University of Chicago, he was asked to teach ecology and environmental science in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia.  After several years of teaching he unexpectedly took a job in environmental consulting.  For a year he ran an office in Manhattan for the late Jack McCormick, working on the NJ Sports Complex and Hartz Mountain development in the Hackensack Meadowlands and Fire Island National Seashore for the National Park Service.  Then he moved into McCormick's main office in Devon, where he became his vice president.  

For 35 years he has had his own firm focused on wetlands, environmental impact statements, and regulatory analysis. Examples of his work can be found at

Engineers: This seminar does qualify for 1.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH). A Certificate of Attendance will be available on site for AWRA-PMAS members only. The meeting price for non-members who wish to receive a Certificate of Attendance for the PDH is $10.00 ($3.00 for meeting + $7.00 for certificate).

Please note: all registrations for lunch orders close by noon on the day before the presentation. Thank you!

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