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The lateral-flow sand-filter system for septic-tank effluent treatment

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The lateral-flow sand filter (LFSF) is an alternative system for household septic-tank effluent treatment that utilizes periodic or continuous surface discharge. The purpose of this study was to document the LFSF system, evaluate its treatment capabilities in laboratory models, and optimize design parameters. Three 5.0-meter-long laboratory models, each with a different permeability sand fill, were dosed with septic-tank effluent for six months. After an initial development period, percentage removals for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total organic carbon (TOC), suspended solids, and coliform bacteria from all the models were excellent. Orthophosphate initially was attenuated but showed increasing values after a few months. Recommendations are made as to a suitable permeability range of sand fills to use in the LFSF system, adequate depth of sand fill and overall system dimensions. Laboratory modeling shows that the LFSF system is capable of providing a high level of treatment to household wastewater and that it should be suitable as a remedial or alternative system for household wastewater disposal.

Keywords: effluent; model; on-site treatment; sand filter; septic tank

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1994-11-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research� (WER�) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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