In cooperation with the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Ventura Regional Sanitation District (VRSD) designed a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the emerging Onsite Sanitary System (OSS) technology as a potential solution to septic tank inefficiencies. The
study sought to evaluate the degree of contaminant removal from typical household wastewater achieved by these units by comparing effluent from six individual home treatment plants produced by a variety of manufacturers to the effluent from a simple septic tank. Effluent levels were measured
and tested for Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD5), Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Total Nitrogen (TN), among other constituents. The study results show that the OSS units do provide treatment far beyond that of a standard septic system. In fact, several were comparable to Public
Owned Treatment Works (POTW). This paper elaborates on the strengths and limitations of the OSS units in this study.
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