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ReproducedfromJournalofEnvironmentalQuality.PublishedbyASA,CSSA,andSSSA.Allcopyrightsreserved. Effects of Aeration on Water Quality from Septic System Leachfields

Summary: ReproducedfromJournalofEnvironmentalQuality.PublishedbyASA,CSSA,andSSSA.Allcopyrightsreserved.
Effects of Aeration on Water Quality from Septic System Leachfields
David A. Potts, Josef H. Go¨rres, Erika L. Nicosia, and Jose´ A. Amador*
ABSTRACT tems, new technologies that lower nutrient and patho-
gen emissions have been developed.We conducted a pilot-scale study at a research facility in southeast-
The capacity of leachfield soils to enhance water qual-ern Connecticut to assess the effects of leachfield aeration on removal
of nutrients and pathogens from septic system effluent. Treatments ity can vary substantially with environmental conditions.
consisted of lysimeters periodically aerated to maintain a headspace For instance, fluctuations in depth to the water table
O2 concentration of 0.209 mol mol 1
(AIR) or vented to an adjacent and in soil temperature can affect leachfield functioning
leachfield trench (LEACH) and were replicated three times. All lysim- (Bouma et al., 1975; Cogger and Carlile, 1984; Virarag-
eters were dosed with effluent from a septic tank for 24 mo at a rate
havan and Dickenson, 1991). One approach to improv-
of 12 cm d 1
and subsequently for 2 mo at 4 cm d 1
. LEACH lysimeters
ing the quality of water coming out of septic systems is tohad developed a clogging mat, or biomat, 20 mo before the beginning
promote conditions that enhance contaminant removalof our study. The level of aeration in the AIR treatment was held
and/or retention in the leachfield. The biogeochemicalconstant regardless of loading rate. No conventional biomat developed
transformations in leachfield soil are controlled by thein the AIR treatment, whereas a biomat was present in the LEACH


Source: Amador, José A. - Department of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island


Collections: Environmental Management and Restoration Technologies; Environmental Sciences and Ecology