Nutrient Management in On-Site Wastewater Treatment
AdvisorTruax, Dennis D.
CommitteeMagbanua, Benjamin S. Jr.
Martin, James L.
McAnally, William H.
Groundwater and surface water contamination has been linked in the past to inadequate or failing on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems. The on-site wastewater systems installed in coastal areas have more potential for inflicting this kind of environmental damage. This work studied the regulatory compliance and environmental protection of the four types of on-site wastewater disposal systems found on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; i.e., vegetative rock filter, subsurface drip irrigation, sand mound, and sprinkler systems, by statistical techniques. Compliance was also evaluated for groundwater samples collected from monitoring wells installed at four corners of a disposal field. This work eventually culminated in formulation of strategy for modifying the aerobic treatment prior to disposal to help reduce nitrogen loading on the discharging environment. Process modeling and simulations were performed to optimize conditions for biological nitrogen reduction in the treatment unit by efficient management of aeration. Two separate proposals were developed, such as either running the aerator unit in a low operating dissolved oxygen concentration or intermittent aeration mode.