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Title: The attenuation of microorganisms in on-site wastewater effluent discharged into highly permeable subsoils
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Keywords: Environmental and geological engineering
water quality
septic tank
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: O'Luanaigh N.D., Gill L.W., Misstear B.D.R., Johnston P.M., The attenuation of microorganisms in on-site wastewater effluent discharged into highly permeable subsoils, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 142-143, 2012, 126 - 139
Series/Report no.: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
Abstract: An extensive field study on percolation areas receiving both septic tank and secondary treated on-site effluents from single houses in Ireland was carried out to investigate the attenuation capacity of highly permeable subsoils with respect to E.coli bacteria and spiked bacteriophages (MS2, ΦX174 and PR772). The development of biomats across the percolation areas receiving the secondary effluent was restricted compared to the percolation area receiving septic tank effluent, promoting a much higher areal hydraulic loading which created significant differences in the potential microbiological loading to groundwater. Greatest E.coli removal in the subsoil occurred within the first 0.35 m of unsaturated subsoil for all effluent types. Analysis showed, however, that more evidence of faecal contamination occurred at depth in the subsoils receiving secondary treated effluents than that receiving septic tank effluent, despite the lower bacterial influent load. All three bacteriophages were reduced to their minimum detection limit (< 10 PFU/mL) at a depth of 0.95 m below the percolation trenches receiving septic tank effluent, although isolated incidences of ΦX174 and PR772 were measured below one trench. However again, slightly higher breakthroughs of MS2 and PR772 contamination were detected at the same depth under the trenches receiving secondary treated effluent.
Description: PUBLISHED
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Appears in Collections:Civil Structural & Environ Eng (Scholarly Publications)

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