Introduction Typically, water and wastewater services are key elements in planning for new growth. Unlike other utilities, such as electricity, gas, heating oil, telephone, television, and internet services, people generally look to the local government for offering water and wastewater services. Centralized water and wastewater systems are generally considered the preferred way for providing drinking water and managing wastewater for a community. However, by the end of the 20th century, it became quite obvious that local government would have to depend on decentralized approaches for offering water and wastewater services in areas that are currently not served by centralized systems.