Special Issue "On-Site Wastewater Treatment"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 5981

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Laurence Gill
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin D02, Ireland
Interests: coastal and ocean engineering; earth science and hydrology; energy and climate change; environmental engineering; water pollution; groundwater; hydraulics; renewable energy; waste management
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue invites research articles on the all aspect of on-site wastewater treatment, and the results of laboratory, field- trial and modelling studies are all welcome. Such studies could focus on the soil treatment aspects of on-site wastewater systems in terms of contaminant transport and attenuation of different pollutants through the vadose zone and into groundwater; it could focus on different biogeochemical cycles in the soil treatment area (nitrogen, carbon, etc.) with links to direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions; equally, it could focus on soil microbial diversity aspects of such soil treatment systems. The research articles could focus on the impact of such on-site systems at larger catchment/watershed scales in terms of their potential pollution of rivers (and groundwater). The research could also focus on novel treatment solutions for sites with different challenges (for example, cold climates, low permeability soils, high-density settlements etc.). Aspects such as water-related energy requirements (and opportunities for energy recovery), evaluation of different water management strategies to reduce carbon emissions (e.g., water conservation, efficiency, reuse, passive treatment etc.) are also encouraged; for example, the use of life cycle analysis to investigate and compare different treatment system design approaches.

Prof. Dr. Laurence Gill
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 semimonthly 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 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • On-site wastewater
  • septic tank
  • greenhouse gas
  • energy
  • water-saving
  • soil treatment
  • contaminant transport
  • contaminant attenuation
  • numerical modelling
  • vadose zone

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Characterisation of Organic Matter and Its Transformation Processes in On-Site Wastewater Effluent Percolating through Soil Using Fluorescence Spectroscopic Methods and Parallel Factor Analysis (PARAFAC)
Water 2021, 13(19), 2627; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13192627 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 675
Abstract
This research has used fluorescence spectroscopy and parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) in order to characterize dissolved organic matter in septic tank effluent, as it passes through the biomat/biozone, infiltrating into the unsaturated zone beneath domestic wastewater treatment systems (DWWTSs). Septic tank effluent and [...] Read more.
This research has used fluorescence spectroscopy and parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) in order to characterize dissolved organic matter in septic tank effluent, as it passes through the biomat/biozone, infiltrating into the unsaturated zone beneath domestic wastewater treatment systems (DWWTSs). Septic tank effluent and soil moisture samples from the percolation areas of two DWWTSs have been analyzed using fluorescence excitation–emission spectroscopy. Using PARAFAC analysis, a six-component model was obtained whereby individual model components could be assigned to humified organic matter, fluorescent whitening compounds (FWCs), and protein-like compounds. This has shown that fluorescent dissolved organic matter (FDOM) in domestic wastewater was dominated by protein-like compounds and FWCs and that, with treatment in the percolation area, protein-like compounds and FWCs are removed and contributions from terrestrially derived (soil) organic decomposition compounds increase, leading to a higher degree of humification and aromaticity. The results also suggest that the biomat is the most important element determining FDOM removal and consequently affecting DOM composition. Furthermore, no significant difference was found in the FDOM composition of samples from the percolation area irrespective of whether they received primary or secondary effluent. Overall, the tested fluorometric methods were shown to provide information about structural and functional properties of organic matter which can be useful for further studies concerning bacterial and/or virus transport from DWWTSs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On-Site Wastewater Treatment)
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Article
The Life Cycle Environmental Performance of On-Site or Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems for Domestic Homes
Water 2021, 13(18), 2542; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182542 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 901 | Correction
Abstract
There is little knowledge regarding the environmental sustainability of domestic on-site or decentralised wastewater treatment systems (DWWTS). This study evaluated six unique life cycle environmental impacts for different DWTTS configurations of five conventional septic tank systems, four packaged treatment units, and a willow [...] Read more.
There is little knowledge regarding the environmental sustainability of domestic on-site or decentralised wastewater treatment systems (DWWTS). This study evaluated six unique life cycle environmental impacts for different DWTTS configurations of five conventional septic tank systems, four packaged treatment units, and a willow evapotranspiration system. Similar freshwater eutrophication (FE), dissipated water (DW), and mineral and metal (MM), burdens were noted between the packaged and conventional system configurations, with the packaged systems demonstrating significantly higher impacts of between 18% and 56% for climate change (CC), marine eutrophication (ME), and fossils (F). At a system level, higher impacts were observed in systems requiring (i) three vs. two engineered treatment stages, (ii) a larger soil percolation trench area, and (iii) pumping of effluent. The evapotranspiration system presented the smallest total environmental impacts (3.0–10.8 lower), with net benefits for FE, ME, and MM identified due to the biomass (wood) production offsetting these burdens. Further analysis highlighted the sensitivity of results to biomass yield, operational demands (desludging or pumping energy demands), and embodied materials, with less significant impacts for replacing mechanical components, i.e., pumps. The findings highlighted the variation in environmental performance of different DWTTS configurations and indicated opportunities for design improvements to reduce their life cycle impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On-Site Wastewater Treatment)
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Article
Mesocosm- and Field-Scale Evaluation of Lignocellulose- Amended Soil Treatment Areas for Removal of Nitrogen from Wastewater
Water 2021, 13(15), 2137; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152137 - 03 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 944
Abstract
Non-proprietary N-removal onsite wastewater treatment systems are less costly than proprietary systems, increasing the likelihood of adoption to lower N inputs to receiving waters. We assessed the capacity of non-proprietary lignocellulose-amended soil treatment areas (LCSTAs)—a 45-cm-deep layer of sand above a 45-cm-deep layer [...] Read more.
Non-proprietary N-removal onsite wastewater treatment systems are less costly than proprietary systems, increasing the likelihood of adoption to lower N inputs to receiving waters. We assessed the capacity of non-proprietary lignocellulose-amended soil treatment areas (LCSTAs)—a 45-cm-deep layer of sand above a 45-cm-deep layer of sand and sawdust—to lower the concentration of total N (TN) in septic tank effluent (STE) at mesocosm and field scales. The mesocosm received wastewater for two years and had a median effluent TN concentration of 3.1 mg/L and TN removal of 60–100%, meeting regulatory standards of 19 mg/L or 50% removal. Removal varied inversely with temperature, and was lower below 10 °C. Removal was higher in the mesocosm than in five field sites monitored for 12–42 months. Median effluent TN concentration and removal met the standard in three continuously-occupied homes but not for two seasonally-occupied homes. Sites differed in temporal pattern of TN removal, and in four of five sites TN removal was greater—and effluent TN concentration lower—in the LCSTA than in a control STA containing only sand. The performance of non-proprietary LCSTAs was comparable to that for proprietary systems, suggesting that these may be a viable, more affordable alternative for lowering N inputs to receiving waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On-Site Wastewater Treatment)
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Review

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Review
Treatment of Wastewaters by Microalgae and the Potential Applications of the Produced Biomass—A Review
Water 2021, 13(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010027 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 2664
Abstract
The treatment of different types of wastewater by physicochemical or biological (non-microalgal) methods could often be either inefficient or energy-intensive. Microalgae are ubiquitous microscopic organisms, which thrive in water bodies that contain the necessary nutrients. Wastewaters are typically contaminated with nitrogen, phosphorus, and [...] Read more.
The treatment of different types of wastewater by physicochemical or biological (non-microalgal) methods could often be either inefficient or energy-intensive. Microalgae are ubiquitous microscopic organisms, which thrive in water bodies that contain the necessary nutrients. Wastewaters are typically contaminated with nitrogen, phosphorus, and other trace elements, which microalgae require for their cell growth. In addition, most of the microalgae are photosynthetic in nature, and these organisms do not require an organic source for their proliferation, although some strains could utilize organics both in the presence and absence of light. Therefore, microalgal bioremediation could be integrated with existing treatment methods or adopted as the single biological method for efficiently treating wastewater. This review paper summarized the mechanisms of pollutants removal by microalgae, microalgal bioremediation potential of different types of wastewaters, the potential application of wastewater-grown microalgal biomass, existing challenges, and the future direction of microalgal application in wastewater treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On-Site Wastewater Treatment)
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Other

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Correction
Correction: Gallagher, J.; Gill, L.W. The Life Cycle Environmental Performance of On-Site or Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems for Domestic Homes. Water 2021, 13, 2542
Water 2022, 14(2), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020268 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 322
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On-Site Wastewater Treatment)
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