Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Water Resources


On-site wastewater management is defined as central management of a non-central system. The wastewater treatment systems are owned by the homeowners on individual lots but the operation, inspection, and maintenance of these systems would be the responsibility of a central authority. This relieves the homeowner of the responsibility of operating a wastewater treatment system, for which many homeowners are either not prepared or not interested. Public management of on-site wastewater treatment systems is also one alternative to sewage collection with central treatment. Some of the advantages of management are low cost, and environmental and developmental benefits. The objectives of this study were to prepare the necessary legal documents to create management districts for Iowa, distribute information on management to local decision makers, assist counties in forming districts, and document district formation;A model county ordinance which would create an on-site wastewater management district was developed for Iowa utilizing the authority granted counties under county home rule. The ordinance sets the boundaries of the management district, establishes the administration, and delegates authority to the administration. This ordinance was adopted in Guthrie County, Iowa and a management district was formed at Lake Panorama. Lake Panorama is a 3665 lot rural subdivision surrounding an impoundment on the Middle Raccoon River. All wastewater in this subdivision has been treated on individual lots for all the 320 existing homes. The administrative committee of the Lake Panorama On-Site Wastewater Management District has prepared administrative, construction, and maintenance rules for the district, has begun correcting failing systems, and is inspecting new construction. The acceptance, accomplishments, and few difficulties experienced at Lake Panorama show that on-site wastewater management is a workable, realistic alternative for rural Iowa.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Karen Marie Mancl



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

132 pages