A leaking septic tank, a sewage backup, a faulty wastewater treatment facility. Its all in a days work for the National Small Flows Clearinghouse (NSFC) based at West Virginia University.

Established in 1979 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under provisions of the Clean Water Act, the NSFC housed in the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at WVU provides information about onsite wastewater collection and treatment systems for individuals and communities of less than 10,000 people. The NSFC is the only national resource of its type dealing with small community wastewater infrastructure.

At least a quarter of the homes in the U.S. are not connected to city sewers, and many homeowners take care of their own wastewater treatment with septic tanks or other onsite systems, Clearinghouse officials say.

The NSFC offers a variety of services to homeowners, educators, engineers, researchers, local officials, government agencies and others to solve wastewater problems, including:

  • Educational Products
  • The NSFC maintains an inventory of more than 450 free and low-cost books, brochures, posters, videotapes, design manuals, case studies, computer software and more.
  • Technical Assistance Hotline
  • Got a question about how to maintain your septic system? Need information about regulations in your local area? Call the NSFC at 304-293-4191 or 800-624-8301.
  • Computer databases
  • The NSFC maintains Bibliographic and Manufacturers/Consultants Databases online at http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/nsfc/nsfc_databases.htm for abstracts of articles from trade and scientific journals, or to find listings of small system manufacturers and consultants. In addition, the NSFC maintains four other databases to answer callersquestions and provide appropriate referrals.
  • Publications
  • The NSFC offers two publications that are free by request to U.S. residents and available to international customers at a nominal cost on wastewater issues and alternative technologies.
  • Listserv
  • The NSFC News Listserv notifies people (via e-mail) about NSFC products and other wastewater-related announcements. To subscribe, just send e-mail to subnsfcnews@mail.nesc.wvu.edu . No additional text is required.

For more information about the National Small Flows Clearinghouse at WVU , visit http://www.nsfc.wvu.edu or call 304-293-4191 or 800-624-8301.