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4th June 2015

Practical measures for reducing phosphorus and faecal microbial loads from onsite wastewater treatment system discharges to the environment A review

Onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS), the majority of which are septic tanks, are a contributing factor to phosphorus and faecal microbial loads. OWTS contribute to waterbodies failing to meet Water Framework Directive (WFD) objectives and as such, measures to improve the quality of OWTS discharges are required. Literature has been reviewed for a range of measures designed to reduce phosphorus and pathogen concentrations in effluent from OWTS. A feasibility assessment focussed on their application, effectiveness, efficiency, cost and ease of adaptation. A wide range of measures have been identified that could potentially improve water quality.