On Dec. 5, 2023, the International Code Council signed a Decentralized Wastewater Management Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its partner organizations. Through this agreement, the Code Council will provide leadership and resources to regulate and educate on the importance of responsible management of wastewater systems.
One in five homes in the U.S. relies on private decentralized wastewater systems. The MOU is a continuation of a decades-long collaboration between the Code Council and the EPA which included information sharing on system technology, training initiatives, public awareness campaigns about septic system care and maintenance, and the development of materials on decentralized wastewater systems.
“We are honored to join in this partnership and look forward to working collaboratively to help implement wastewater and sanitation best practices,” said Code Council Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Executive Director Matt Sigler. “When this type of wastewater system fails, the results are catastrophic, often polluting drinking water and creating public health hazards. Changes in flood plains like rising sea levels brought on by a changing climate are exacerbating these system failures and they must be addressed.”
The Code Council facilitates the development of the International Private Sewage Disposal Code (IPSDC), which has been adopted in communities across 17 U.S. states and by Puerto Rico and Guam, required by the General Services Administration, and recognized by FEMA’s Community Rating System, which provides federal flood insurance discounts for communities undertaking disaster mitigation measures.
The Code Council is currently improving upon the existing code through the development of the ICC 825 – Private Sewage Disposal Systems Standard, a new international standard that builds on the IPSDC to integrate newer technologies and methods, and most importantly, the impacts of a changing climate.