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Increased Effluent Dosage Effects on On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems of Differing Architecture Type

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2015.66059    3,033 Downloads   3,533 Views  

ABSTRACT

Approximately 20% of homes nationwide use an on-site treatment system as a form of household wastewater management. However, approximately 10% to 20% of on-site treatment systems malfunction each year, many of which have either failed or exceeded the soil’s long-term acceptance rate (LTAR), causing environmental and human health risks. The objective of this field study was to evaluate the effects of soil condition (e.g., wet and dry) and product architecture type [i.e., chamber, gravel-less-pipe (GLP), polystyrene-aggregate, and pipe-and-aggregate] on in-product solution storage and biomat thickness in a profile-limited soil in northwest Arkansas under increased loading rates and to estimate the LTAR for each product. During Phase I of this study (March 13 to October 4, 2013), effluent loading rates were approximately doubled, while rates were approximately quadrupled during Phase II (October 8, 2013 to May 29, 2014), from the maximum allowable loading rate for each product. The pipe-and-tire-chip, 46-cm-wide trench pipe-and-gravel, and the 25-cm diameter GLP products had the greatest (p < 0.001), while the 31-cm-width and the 5.4-m-long chambers had the lowest (p < 0.001) in-product solution storage during wet-soil conditions of Phase I monitoring. The 25-cm diameter GLP product had the greatest (p < 0.001), while the 61-cm-width, 5.4-m-long chamber had the lowest (p < 0.001) in-product solution storage during Phase II. Results of this study indicate that some alternative products may be able to effectively handle effluent loading rates in excess of those currently allowed by the State of Arkansas. Further research will be required to confirm these interpretations.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Gibbons, A. , Brye, K. , Dunn, S. , Gbur, E. , Sharpley, A. and Zhang, W. (2015) Increased Effluent Dosage Effects on On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems of Differing Architecture Type. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 651-670. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.66059.

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