ISSN: 1659-2751



Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Septage Treatment System at EARTH


In Costa Rica, only 3 % of the residual wastewater receives treatment, leaving 97 % of these waters to be discharged into natural bodies of water, resulting in pollution and alteration of ecosystems. EARTH University has created a pilot plant for the treatment of septage, thereby reducing the contamination in this wastewater and allowing its reincorporation into the environment in a sustainable manner. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the efficiency of the pilot plant in the treatment of the septage. The performance of each component in the system of the pilot plant was evaluated and samples of wastewater effluent from each component were analyzed. The septage in the pilot plant was treated with a dilution of 5 % Efficient Microorganisms (EM); however, problems were encountered both, with the components of the plant, as well as with the collection equipment, none of which met with the minimum conditions for the extraction, transport and stabilization of the septage. The chemical and physical analyses of the stabilized waste indicated that although concentrations of BOD, COD, and solids were reduced, the levels still were in excess of the limits established by Costa Rican law. For that reason, this wastewater requires further treatment. It is recommended that the components of the pilot plant continue to be evaluated and samples of wastewater effluent from each component continue to be analyzed. As well, the effect of the effluent from the dry bed on the artificial wetland of the landfill must be evaluated.

Key words: Residual wastewater, stabilization, dry bed, sludge, Efficient Microorganisms (EM), septage.

Artículo en español (pdf) (617)