Septic System Research at MnDOT Safety Rest Areas
Principal Investigator(s):Sara Heger, Research Associate, Water Resources Center
This project follows up on a three-year project completed in 2016 between the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). During the evaluation of the MnDOT septic system facilities, numerous additional research areas arose and are being evaluated in this project:
- The first objective is the continuation and expansion of field-based verification of groundwater mounding to estimate the influence of larger wastewater treatment systems on groundwater systems.
- The second objective is to continue and expand the water use study.
- An operation and maintenance manual will be created for each of the 52 facilities.
- A MnDOT septic system design manual for new projects is being developed based on MnDOT and the state of Minnesota requirements.
- Toilet paper options for use at safety rest areas (SRA) is being evaluated.
- This project is also developing an education display for each of the districts on water and wastewater treatment at SRAs.
- The impacts of water conditioning to six of the septic systems and the environment is being evaluated.
- Flammable waste traps at five other sites are being tested and evaluated.