To take the survey, please review the information below and then click “I Agree” at the bottom of this page.

Greetings! The enclosed information is part of a request to complete a survey that will support research on home sewage treatment systems and biosolids. We appreciate you taking the time to read this and respond to the survey.


Your neighbors at Rural Action and Ohio University

Information about consent to participate in the survey:

You are being asked by a Rural Action researcher collaborating with Ohio University to participate in research. For you to be able to decide whether you want to participate in this project, you should understand what the project is about, as well as the possible risks and benefits in order to make an informed decision. This process is known as informed consent. This form describes the purpose, procedures, possible benefits, and risks of the research project. It also explains how your personal information will be used and protected. Once you have read this form and your questions about the study are answered, you are asked to complete the survey online.

Title of Research: Survey about Biosolids

Contact information for researchers:

Rural Action- Nathan Schlater,

IRB number: 19-E-373

Summary of Study

This research is being conducted to determine if it is possible to reduce the cost of home sewage treatment system (HSTS) maintenance by creating a valuable biosolid fertilizer from HSTS waste (septage – solids in a septic tank). An information sheet about biosolids is enclosed.

Explanation of Study

This study is being done because 25% of HSTSs in Ohio are failing. 120 million gallons of improperly treated wastewater from these failing systems is polluting Ohio’s water resources each day. Currently, community conversations are not happening around this topic. Septage contains valuable nutrients that are currently being thrown away in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, or through land application.

If you agree to participate, you will answer the enclosed provided in the online survey.

You should not participate in this study if you are under 18 years of age.

Benefits and Risks:

This study is important because it seeks to identify feasible solutions for reducing soil and water pollution.

Individually, you may benefit from the study if a technology is identified that can add value to septage wastes and reduce the cost of HSTS maintenance or if you utilize fertilizer for small or large scale gardening/farming. Depending on the outcomes of the study, there may be no benefits but there are also no harms.

No personally identified information will be recorded with your survey responses.

Confidentiality and Records

Your survey responses will be kept confidential and no personally identifiable information is being requested through this survey. No personal information is required to complete the survey.

Additionally, while every effort will be made to keep your survey related information confidential, there may be circumstances where this information must be shared with:

* Federal agencies, for example the Office of Human Research Protections, whose responsibility is to protect human subjects in research;

* Representatives of Ohio University (OU), including the Institutional Review Board, a committee that oversees the research at OU;

* Rural Action personnel that are collating survey results.


No compensation will be provided for the completion of this survey.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this study, please contact the investigator

Nate Schlater,, 740-394-2047

If you have any questions regarding your rights as a research participant, please contact Dr. Chris Hayhow, Director of Research Compliance, Ohio University, (740)593-0664 or

By completing the survey and agreeing to participate in this study, you are agreeing that:

  • you have read this consent form (or it has been read to you) and have been given the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered;
  • you have been informed of potential risks and they have been explained to your satisfaction;
  • you understand Ohio University has no funds set aside for any injuries you might receive as a result of participating in this study;
  • you are 18 years of age or older;
  • your participation in this research is completely voluntary;
  • you may leave the study at any time; if you decide to stop participating in the study, there will be no penalty to you and you will not lose any benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.

Version Date: [3/09/2021]

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