Wastewater Stabilization Ponds

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Wastewater Stabilization Ponds


Wastewater treatment can be accomplished using ponds (lagoons). Ponds are relatively

easy to build and manage; they accommodate large fluctuations in flow; and
they can provide treatment producing a highly purified effluent that approaches that
of conventional systems at much lower cost. It is the cost factor that drives many
managers to decide on the pond option. The actual degree of treatment provided
depends on the type and number of ponds used. Ponds can be used as the sole treatment
or they can be used in conjunction with other forms of wastewater treatment;
that is, other treatment unit processes can be followed by a pond or a pond can be
followed by other treatment processes.


Stabilization ponds have been used for the treatment of wastewater for over 3000
years. The first recorded construction of a pond system in the United States was at
San Antonio, Texas, in 1901. Today, over 8000 wastewater treatment ponds are in
place and are being used by more than 50% of the wastewater treatment facilities in
the United States. Facultative ponds account for 62%, aerated ponds 25%, anaerobic
ponds 0.04%, and total containment ponds 12% of the pond treatment systems.
They treat a variety of wastewaters from domestic wastewater to complex industrial
wastes, and they function under a wide range of weather conditions, from tropical to
arctic. Ponds can be used alone or in combination with other wastewater treatment
processes. As our understanding of pond operating mechanisms has increased, different
types of ponds have been developed for application in specific types of wastewater
under local environmental conditions. This handbook focuses on municipal

wastewater treatment pond systems.
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