Home and business owners, particularly those near property lines or surface water, are faced with treating wastewater and preventing the release of nitrates at the same time. Shoreland and well water protection laws prevent many land owners from developing their property due to restrictions on the release of nitrates near surface water and wells. Some waterfront communities are condemning outdated septic systems and imposing stringent rules on replacement systems.

Effective wastewater treatment is essential to protect ground and surface water. Wastewater contaminants (including nitrates) kill aquatic life and foul ground and surface water, making it unsuitable for human consumption and recreation.