Fayette Co. Onsite Septic System Database

In the aftermath of the 2001 summer floods, a diverse group of businesses, government, and local organizations from Fayette County were organized to help with the process of rebuilding and creating opportunity for growth. The members of this group formed the Fayette County Water Quality Coalition (FCWQC) and included representatives from Fayetteville retail businesses, West Virginia tourism, the rafting industry, Plateau Action Network (citizens group for community and environment), Fayette County government, and the National Park Service.

Through this exhaustive collaboration, the FCWQC obtained a $405,000 federal appropriation to perform studies and develop a county wide wastewater management plan.

The FCWQC worked with the Green Mountain Institute, the National Wastewater Capacity Development Project, National Small Flows Clearinghouse, the Canaan Valley Institute, WV Rivers Coalition, and other watershed groups on wastewater issues specifically related to small communities and individuals in West Virginia. Through this exhaustive collaboration, the FCWQC obtained a $405,000 federal appropriation to perform studies and develop a county wide wastewater management plan.

Fayette County is one of the few counties in the state that has a comprehensive wastewater management plan. This plan provides a road map to protecting our water resources, improving infrastructure and providing sewer equivalency for citizens in Fayette County. The time, energy and resources dedicated to create this plan should be utilized and leveraged to improve the wastewater infrastructure and the health of our citizens.

The ultimate goal is to provide sewer equivalency for every citizen in our county, and to ensure public health and safety while protecting our water resources, which includes the New and Gauley Rivers and their tributaries.

Why is an Onsite Septic System Database Necessary?

In 2005, Lombardo Associates, in association with Stafford Consultants, successfully completed a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan for Fayette County. Within this plan the existing wastewater infrastructure and future wastewater needs were documented. The goal of the County’s Wastewater Management Plan is to develop an approach to wastewater management that eliminates public health threats and improves water quality.

A key element to the onsite component of the Fayette County Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (FCCWMP) is proper management and oversight. A level 5 management model from the US EPA’s Voluntary National Guidelines for the Management of Onsite and Clustered Wastewater Treatment Systems is recommended for Fayette County (Appendix). At a minimum, all onsite systems in the County should be brought up to level 1 management, which requires an inventory of all systems. However, the inventory of existing onsite systems in the County is virtually nonexistent and needs to be created for any responsible management entity (RME) to be successful. The RME needs to know:

  1. How many systems there are.
  2. Where they are located – GPS Coordinates
  3. What condition they are in: permit number, installation Date, modification date, percolation rate, depth to bedrock, depth to groundwater, design flow, lot size, dispersal system type and area
Project Overview

How will the database will benefit the Health Department?

  1. Quantifying the needs and conditions of onsite systems.
  2. Identifying public health issues stemming from direct discharges and malfunctioning systems.
  3. Being linked with parcel information and provide spatial location of onsite systems.
  4. Managing all existing and future onsite septic systems in Fayette County.

How will the database benefit Fayette County?

  1. It can be used to quantify the cost for replacement and repair of onsite systems.
  2. By providing information to leverage funds for upgrading and expanding the existing sewer system as necessary, developing cluster systems to serve villages throughout Fayette County as appropriate, and repairing and upgrading individual onsite systems.
  3. Protecting the water resources of Fayette County and the health of its citizens.

How will the database benefit the Plateau Action Network?

  1. Helping assess the wastewater infrastructure needs in the Wolf Creek Watershed.
  2. Identifying the condition of onsite septic systems in the Wolf Creek Watershed.
  3. Identifying the direct discharges or malfunctioning systems in the Wolf Creek Watershed.
  4. Providing data to leverage grants for onsite systems and wastewater infrastructure
  5. Creating information resources that can be used to improve the water quality of Wolf Creek and the Lower New River




The ESRI Conservation Program is the non-profit support arm of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI).  Through their generous donation, we have used ArcGIS software to create and develop spatial analysis, computer mapping and geographic information systems (GIS).