Coastal Georgia OSDS: Geo-location, Inspection & Maintenance Project
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Most of Georgia’s coastal counties have limited municipal sewage treatment systems and rely heavily on individual on-site septic disposal systems (OSDS) to handle human sewage production. OSDS have a great potential to become dysfunctional after a short period of time, if a home-owner maintenance schedule is not implemented. The threat of dysfunctional systems makes it imperative to inspect and maintain OSDS to prevent nonpoint source pollution, particularly in the areas of tidal wetlands, a highly productive biological nursery and ecosystem that is the predominant coastal boundary system. The UGA Marine Extension Service (MAREX), the Coastal Health District and Local Health Departments, the Southern Georgia Regional Com-mission (SGARC) and EPD’s Coastal Nonpoint Source Program (NPSP) have partnered to implement a Clean Water Act section 319 (h) grant funded project which has geo-located all relevant existing OSDS and water wells within the proximity of marshlands or other waters of the state in Bryan, Effingham, Liberty and Long counties. The project produced GIS maps by plotting verified OSDS and well positions and provided access to additional GIS layers for further analysis. All data was placed in SGARC’s transferable geo-referenced WelSTROM database, which is web accessible. The project also assisted Camden and McIntosh counties in transferring historical OSDS data into the WelSTROM GIS database. The data-base provides a standardized method of recording all current and future OSDS installations for all Coastal NPSP Area local health departments.