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Solar Enhanced Wastewater Treatment in Waste Stabilization Ponds

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One of the most popular off-site wastewater treatment plants used in the tropics is the waste stabilization pond (WSP). Although it has several advantages, its use in urban areas is limited because of its large land area requirement. Hence, this research is aimed at investigating if a solar-enhanced WSP (SEWSP) can increase treatment efficiency and consequently reduce the land area requirement. The SEWSPs of varying sizes, made of a metallic tank with inlet and outlet valves and a solar reflector, were constructed to increase the incident sunlight intensity. Wastewater samples collected from the inlet and outlet of the SEWSPs were examined for physio-chemical and biological characteristics for a period of 2 months. The parameters examined were total suspended solids, dissolved oxygen, 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD 5), chemical oxygen demand (COD), coliform, and Escherichia coli. The efficiencies of the SEWSPs, with respect to these parameters, fluctuated with temperature variation, with the shallowest SEWSP giving the highest treatment efficiency. The research revealed that the cost of treating wastewater using SEWSPs was approximately 2 times lower than the conventional WSP for the same treatment efficiencies.

Keywords: efficiency; solar reflector; sunlight intensity; waste stabilization pond

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2009

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  • 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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