Chemical and Microbiological Quality of Effluents from Different On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems across Finland and Sweden
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CitationHeinonen-Tanski H. Matikka V. (2017). Chemical and Microbiological Quality of Effluents from Different On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems across Finland and Sweden. Water, 9 (1) , 1-14. 10.3390/w9010047.
Domestic wastewaters, which cannot be disposed through sewage networks, must be treated with different on-site treatment systems; these are usually commercial, small-scale treatment plants or built sand filters. These systems are usually maintained by the house’s inhabitants. This study was achieved by analysing the chemical and microbiological data of 717 effluents collected in Finland and Sweden. There were inadequate reductions in 31% of phosphorus effluents, 22% of nitrogen effluents and 5% of biological oxygen demand compounds. The addition of a coagulant capable of precipitating phosphorus improved the performance of sand filters and biorotors. There are no legally binding limitations on the number of enteric microorganisms that can be present in an effluent, but the number of Escherichia coli and enterococci exceeded more than 100 colony forming units per 100 mL in 59% and 53% effluents studied, with the highest numbers for these indicators being more than 100,000 cfu per 100 mL. The number of E. coli and enterococci were lower when the concentration of phosphorus in effluent was less than 1 mg/L. The treatment efficiency varied extensively, even between similar plant models, possibly due to either irregular use, or after long pauses, when they were not being used. In addition, it is possible that the end users are not capable of properly maintaining these wastewater treatment plants.