The title quote is from a recent article in the Barnstable Patriot out of Hyannis, Massachusetts. Apparently, a 60-unit condo complex there needed to upgrade their onsite systems. The owners association considered installing alternative onsite denitrifying septic systems or a central sewer connected to a central treatment system.
The final bids for sewering the Center Village project were around $800,000, breaking down to about $15,000 per unit. The condo association representative stated, “That is less expensive than installing an alternative system, and should be forever because we’re in the town sewer.”
So the bottom line is that Massachusetts has approved a number of alternative systems for nitrogen removal that, according to the people actually paying for and using the systems, (1) Don't work well and (2) cost more than $15,000 to install and maintain.
I thought it would be interesting to see what systems are approved in Massachusetts that fall into these two catagories. The link is: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/wastewater/summary-of-innovative-alternative-technologies-approved.html
If you go to the bottom of the page you will see a list of I/A Technologies with Nitrogen Reduction Credit . I will let you draw your own conclusions. But this is typical of many regulatory authorities, they are far more concerned with adherence to the mountains of red tape they have created to justify their existence than they are with protection of the environment. In other words, it is more important that a manufacturer has conformed to their procrustean approval process than it is that the system actually performs and is available at reasonable cost.
Here is the full article: http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/home2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32904&Itemid=30