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Special Issue "Advances in On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Technologies to Characterize the Fate and Transport of Wastewater Constituents"

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A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Michael O'Driscoll (Website)

Department of Geological Sciences, 204 Graham Building, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA
Interests: surface water/groundwater interactions; stable isotope hydrology; human impacts on water resources; wastewater; environmental geology
Guest Editor
Dr. Charles Humphrey, Jr. (Website)

Environmental Health Sciences Program, Department of Health Education and Promotion, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA
Interests: On-site wasterwater; soils; land use impacts on water quality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

On-site wastewater treatment and disposal is a commonly used approach for managing household wastewater. Wastewater can contain elevated concentrations of nutrients, pathogens, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products that may affect underlying groundwater quality. If these contaminants are transported to nearby surface waters, the potential for surface water quality impairment may exist in proximity to on-site wastewater treatment systems (OWTS). Wastewater plumes may be challenging to map, but recent advances in tracers, geophysical techniques, and numerical modeling have brought advances to understanding the fate and transport of wastewater constituents. GIS and numerical modeling approaches have helped improve understanding of the influence of on-site wastewater management on groundwater and surface water quality at the watershed-scale in a variety of settings. Advanced OWTS technologies have resulted in improved treatment of wastewater that can reduce the risk of impairment of nearby water resources. Therefore, we would like to call for papers to disseminate and share recent findings related to on-site wastewater treatment technologies and methods to characterize OWTS effects on adjacent groundwater and surface water quality ranging from site-specific studies to broader, regional or watershed-scale studies.

Papers are selected by a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, development and application.

Original research paper or reviews are invited in the following and related areas:

  • On-site wastewater treatment methods and advanced technologies
  • On-site wastewater treatment in coastal and mountain settings
  • On-site wastewater treatment in developing countries
  • Geological and soil controls on on-site wastewater treatment
  • Meteorological controls and the potential effects of climate change on on-site wastewater treatment
  • The effects of OWTS system density and setback distances on water quality
  • Advanced technologies for tracing wastewater constituents and mapping wastewater plumes

 

Dr. Michael O’Driscoll
Dr. Charles Humphrey
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Upflow Evapotranspiration System for the Treatment of On-Site Wastewater Effluent
Water 2015, 7(5), 2037-2059; doi:10.3390/w7052037
Received: 21 January 2015 / Revised: 27 April 2015 / Accepted: 29 April 2015 / Published: 6 May 2015
PDF Full-text (2050 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Full-scale willow evapotranspiration systems fed from the base with septic tank or secondary treated domestic effluent from single houses have been constructed and instrumented in Ireland in order to investigate whether the technology could provide a solution to the problem of on-site [...] Read more.
Full-scale willow evapotranspiration systems fed from the base with septic tank or secondary treated domestic effluent from single houses have been constructed and instrumented in Ireland in order to investigate whether the technology could provide a solution to the problem of on-site effluent disposal in areas with low permeability subsoils. Continuous monitoring of rainfall, reference evapotranspiration, effluent flows and water level in the sealed systems revealed varying evapotranspiration rates across the different seasons. No system managed to achieve zero discharge in any year remaining at maximum levels for much of the winter months, indicating some loss of water by lateral exfiltration at the surface. Water sampling and analysis however, showed that the quality of any surface overflow from the systems was similar to rainfall runoff. The performance results have then been used to formulate design guidelines for such systems in Ireland’s temperate maritime climate. The effect of varying different combinations of design parameters (plan area, soil depth, etc.) has been evaluated with respect to the simulated number of overflow days over a five-year period using a water balance model. Design guidelines have then been based upon minimising the amount of runoff, in conjunction with other practical and financial considerations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effectiveness of Domestic Wastewater Treatment Using a Bio-Hedge Water Hyacinth Wetland System
Water 2015, 7(1), 329-347; doi:10.3390/w7010329
Received: 25 November 2014 / Revised: 17 December 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2015 / Published: 19 January 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1137 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
onstructed wetland applications have been limited by a large land requirement and capital investment. This study aimed to improve a shallow pond water hyacinth system by incorporating the advantages of engineered attached microbial growth technique (termed Bio-hedge) for on-site domestic wastewater treatment. [...] Read more.
onstructed wetland applications have been limited by a large land requirement and capital investment. This study aimed to improve a shallow pond water hyacinth system by incorporating the advantages of engineered attached microbial growth technique (termed Bio-hedge) for on-site domestic wastewater treatment. A laboratory scale continuous-flow system consists of the mesh type matrix providing an additional biofilm surface area of 54 m2/m3. Following one year of experimentation, the process showed more stability and enhanced performance in removing organic matter and nutrients, compared to traditional water hyacinth (by lowering 33%–67% HRT) and facultative (by lowering 92%–96% HRT) ponds. The wastewater exposed plants revealed a relative growth rate of 1.15% per day, and no anatomical deformities were observed. Plant nutrient level averaged 27 ± 1.7 and 44 ± 2.3 mg N/g dry weight, and 5 ± 1.4 & 9±1.2 mg P/g dry weight in roots and shoots, respectively. Microorganisms immobilized on Bio-hedge media (4.06 × 107 cfu/cm2) and plant roots (3.12 × 104 cfu/cm) were isolated and identified (a total of 23 strains). The capital cost was pre-estimated for 1 m3/d wastewater at 78 US$/m3inflow and 465 US$/kg BOD5 removed. This process is a suitable ecotechnology due to improved biofilm formation, reduced footprint, energy savings, and increased quality effluent. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sorption of Emerging Organic Wastewater Contaminants to Four Soils
Water 2014, 6(4), 1028-1042; doi:10.3390/w6041028
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 17 April 2014 / Accepted: 18 April 2014 / Published: 24 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (395 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Conventional onsite wastewater treatment system design relies on a septic tank and soil treatment unit (STU) for treatment of wastewater and integration of the final effluent into the environment. Organic water contaminants (OWCs), chemicals found in pharmaceutical drugs, detergents, surfactants, and other [...] Read more.
Conventional onsite wastewater treatment system design relies on a septic tank and soil treatment unit (STU) for treatment of wastewater and integration of the final effluent into the environment. Organic water contaminants (OWCs), chemicals found in pharmaceutical drugs, detergents, surfactants, and other personal care and cleaning products, have been observed in septic tank effluent and the environment. Sorption of OWC mass to soil is a key mechanism in the removal and retardation of many of these chemicals in effluent as it travels through an STU. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the fraction of organic carbon of soil and the equilibrium sorption partitioning coefficient of a selected group of relevant and diverse OWCs. A secondary goal is to evaluate current methods of modeling the sorption of selected OWCs in soil. Five point Freundlich isotherms were constructed from equilibrium sorption batch tests for target OWCs with four different soils. For soils with organic carbon fraction between 0.021 and 0.054, Kd values were calculated between 60 and 185 for 4-nonylphenol, 75 to 260 for triclosan, 115 to 270 for bisphenol-A, 3 to 255 for 17β-estradiol, 40 to 55 for 17α-ethynylestradiol, and 28 to 70 for estrone. An empirically derived, direct relationship between foc and Kd may be a useful approach to estimating sorption for a soil based on organic carbon content. Full article
Open AccessArticle Transport of Pathogen Surrogates in Soil Treatment Units: Numerical Modeling
Water 2014, 6(4), 818-838; doi:10.3390/w6040818
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 24 March 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1090 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Segmented mesocosms (n = 3) packed with sand, sandy loam or clay loam soil were used to determine the effect of soil texture and depth on transport of two septic tank effluent (STE)-borne microbial pathogen surrogates—green fluorescent protein-labeled E. coli (GFPE) [...] Read more.
Segmented mesocosms (n = 3) packed with sand, sandy loam or clay loam soil were used to determine the effect of soil texture and depth on transport of two septic tank effluent (STE)-borne microbial pathogen surrogates—green fluorescent protein-labeled E. coli (GFPE) and MS-2 coliphage—in soil treatment units. HYDRUS 2D/3D software was used to model the transport of these microbes from the infiltrative surface. Mesocosms were spiked with GFPE and MS-2 coliphage at 105 cfu/mL STE and 105–106 pfu/mL STE, respectively. In all soils, removal rates were >99.99% at 25 cm. The transport simulation compared (1) optimization; and (2) trial-and-error modeling approaches. Only slight differences between the transport parameters were observed between these approaches. Treating both the die-off rates and attachment/detachment rates as variables resulted in an overall better model fit, particularly for the tailing phase of the experiments. Independent of the fitting procedure, attachment rates computed by the model were higher in sandy and sandy loam soils than clay, which was attributed to unsaturated flow conditions at lower water content in the coarser-textured soils. Early breakthrough of the bacteria and virus indicated the presence of preferential flow in the system in the structured clay loam soil, resulting in faster movement of water and microbes through the soil relative to a conservative tracer (bromide). Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatial Distribution of Fecal Indicator Bacteria in Groundwater beneath Two Large On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems
Water 2014, 6(3), 602-619; doi:10.3390/w6030602
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 24 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (811 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On-site wastewater treatment systems (OWS) are a common means of wastewater treatment in coastal North Carolina, where the soils are sandy and groundwater is relatively close to the surface (<5 m). Wastewater contains elevated concentrations of pathogenic microorganisms that can contaminate groundwater [...] Read more.
On-site wastewater treatment systems (OWS) are a common means of wastewater treatment in coastal North Carolina, where the soils are sandy and groundwater is relatively close to the surface (<5 m). Wastewater contains elevated concentrations of pathogenic microorganisms that can contaminate groundwater and surface water if OWS are not operating efficiently and distributing wastewater equally to all drainfield trenches. The objectives of this study were to compare the distribution of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in groundwater beneath a large low-pressure pipe (LPP) OWS and a large pump to distribution box system, and to determine the effectiveness of the systems in reducing FIB including total coliform, E. coli, and enterococci. Monitoring wells were installed at the fronts and ends of the drainfields for sample collection. Groundwater beneath the LPP had a more homogeneous spatial distribution of E. coli and enterococci concentrations and the specific conductivity of groundwater was also more uniform relative to groundwater beneath the distribution box system. Both systems were effective (>99%) at reducing FIB concentrations before discharge to groundwater. Results indicate that the LPP did enhance the distribution of FIB in groundwater beneath the drainfield area relative to the pump to distribution box system. Although the LPP system had a vadose zone over 2 m thinner than the pump to distribution box system, FIB treatment was similar. Enterococci was the most resilient FIB of the three tested. Full article
Open AccessArticle Performance of an Anaerobic Baffled Filter Reactor in the Treatment of Algae-Laden Water and the Contribution of Granular Sludge
Water 2014, 6(1), 122-138; doi:10.3390/w6010122
Received: 9 November 2013 / Revised: 23 December 2013 / Accepted: 30 December 2013 / Published: 7 January 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (887 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the performance and stability of an anaerobic baffled filter reactor in the treatment of algae-laden water from Taihu Lake at several organic loading rates. The study also evaluated the capability of soft filler to train granule sludge and improve [...] Read more.
This study investigated the performance and stability of an anaerobic baffled filter reactor in the treatment of algae-laden water from Taihu Lake at several organic loading rates. The study also evaluated the capability of soft filler to train granule sludge and improve the anaerobic environment and sludge activity in the anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR), thereby enhancing the treatment efficiency. The ABR consisted of five rectangular compartments, each of which was 120 cm long, 80 cm wide, 80 cm high, and packed with soft filler. The anaerobic baffled filter reactor was found to be an efficient reactor configuration for the treatment of algae-laden water. The reactor was operated at an organic loading rate of 1.5 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/(m3d) and an ambient temperature of 30 °C; under these conditions, the COD removal efficiency was 80% and the biogas production rate was 293 mL/(Ld). Moreover, the soft filler increased the biomass retention time and decreased the rate at which solids were washed out from the reactor, promoting an improved spatial distribution of the microbial communities within the compartments. Methanoregula, Methanobacteriaceae, Methanosaeta, Methanoculleu, and Thermogymnomonas were the dominant archaeal species in each compartment during an operational period of approximately 100 days. The protease activity in the reactor decreased longitudinally down the reactor from Compartments 1 to 5, whereas the activity of coenzyme F420 increased. The soft filler played a key role in successfully treating algae-laden water with the anaerobic baffled filter reactor. Full article
Open AccessArticle Monitoring Urban Wastewaters’ Characteristics by Visible and Short Wave Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
Water 2013, 5(4), 2026-2036; doi:10.3390/w5042026
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 28 November 2013 / Accepted: 4 December 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On-line monitoring of wastewater parameters is a major scientific and technical challenge because of the great variability of wastewater characteristics and the extreme physical-chemical conditions that endure the sensors. Wastewater treatment plant managers require fast and reliable information about the input sewage [...] Read more.
On-line monitoring of wastewater parameters is a major scientific and technical challenge because of the great variability of wastewater characteristics and the extreme physical-chemical conditions that endure the sensors. Wastewater treatment plant managers require fast and reliable information about the input sewage and the operation of the different treatment stages. There is a great need for the development of sensors for the continuous monitoring of wastewater parameters. In this sense, several optical systems have been evaluated. This article presents an experimental laboratory-based approach to quantify commonly employed urban wastewater parameters, namely biochemical oxygen demand in five days (BOD5), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), and the ratio BOD5:COD, with a visible and short wave near infrared (V/SW-NIR) spectrometer (400–1000 nm). Partial least square regression (PLSR) models were developed in order to quantify the wastewater parameters with the recorded spectra. PLSR models were developed for the full spectral range and also for the visible and near infrared spectral ranges separately. Good PLSR models were obtained with the visible spectral range for BOD5 (RER = 9.64), COD (RER = 10.88), and with the full spectral range for the TSS (RER = 9.67). The results of this study show that V/SW-NIR spectroscopy is a suitable technique for on-line monitoring of wastewater parameters. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview The Effect of Influent Characteristics and Operational Conditions over the Performance and Microbial Community Structure of Partial Nitritation Reactors
Water 2014, 6(7), 1905-1924; doi:10.3390/w6071905
Received: 11 April 2014 / Revised: 13 June 2014 / Accepted: 19 June 2014 / Published: 26 June 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1141 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nitrogen is a main contaminant of wastewater worldwide. Novel processes for nitrogen removal have been developed over the last several decades. One of these is the partial nitritation process. This process includes the oxidation of ammonium to nitrite without the generation of [...] Read more.
Nitrogen is a main contaminant of wastewater worldwide. Novel processes for nitrogen removal have been developed over the last several decades. One of these is the partial nitritation process. This process includes the oxidation of ammonium to nitrite without the generation of nitrate. The partial nitritation process has several advantages over traditional nitrification-denitrification processes for nitrogen removal from wastewaters. In addition, partial nitritation is required for anammox elimination of nitrogen from wastewater. Partial nitritation is affected by operational conditions and substances present in the influent, such as quinolone antibiotics. In this review, the impact that several operational conditions, such as temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen concentration, hydraulic retention time and solids retention time, have over the partial nitritation process is covered. The effect of quinolone antibiotics and other emerging contaminants are discussed. Finally, future perspectives for the partial nitritation process are commented upon. Full article

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