Value Added Projects from Rural Wastes

Project led by Rural Action

About the project.

Rural Action, in partnership with Ohio University and the Florida Institute of Technology, is working to determine if it is possible to reduce the cost of home sewage system maintenance by creating a marketable fertilizer from it. Ideally, this could help offset — or even eliminate — the cost of regular septic system maintenance, which is often cited as a factor in why homeowners don’t maintain their systems properly.

There are currently 250,000 failing septic tanks in Ohio polluting our water resources. Pollution from wastewater not only results in viruses and bacteria that can lead to illness, but also results in increased nutrients which can lead to harmful algal blooms. Nutrients are one of the primary causes for water quality impairments, and the Ohio EPA has identified numerous watersheds that are impaired by nutrients in this region. Reducing the number of failing household sewage treatment systems will improve water quality by reducing nutrient, sediment, and bacteria in our streams. With reduced bacteria counts, community members will be able to safely utilize more of our water resources.

More information and resources can be found here:

Is Your Septic System Polluting Local Watersheds?

FAO staff comments.

We hear often from health officials in Appalachian Ohio how improper sewer system maintenance can threaten public health, but that the cost of proper maintenance is a significant barrier for home owners across the region.

The Value Added Projects from Rural Wastes initiative led by Rural Action seeks to address this cost barrier by creating fertilizer products that limit costs for home and property owners and increasing the health and wellness of our local communities.

Project Status
Areas of Investment
Environmental Stewardship
Funds Raised

Dollars will support Rural Action and the Value Added Projects from Rural Wastes Program.

Every $500 raised through Cause Connector will activate a $500 bonus for the project from the Flournoy family, up to a goal of $10,000!

Benefits 5 counties
  • Athens
  • Hocking
  • Meigs
  • Morgan
  • Washington

Want to learn more?

Connect with Rural Action:

Contact FAO at 740.753.1111 or with any questions.

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