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New Wastewater Treatment Ponds Manual

Watersheds/Green Infrastructure
Watersheds/Green Infrastructure
Cover. Principles of Design and Operations of Wastewater Treatment Pond Systems for Plant Operators, Engineers, and Managers

Principles of Design and Operations of Wastewater Treatment Pond Systems for Plant Operators, Engineers, and Managers (PDF) (457 pp, 10.7 MB) (EPA/600/R-11/088) August 2011

Over half of the nation’s wastewater facilities use treatment pond systems. With many small communities and public utilities struggling financially, guidance on how to make these low-cost wastewater treatment facilities operate most effectively is both timely and useful. The manual draws on knowledge gained from domestic systems and from published resources in other parts of the world, including Australia, Europe, New Zealand, Latin America, India, and North Africa, where treatment ponds operate in both large cities and small communities.

Wastewater pond systems provide reliable, low-cost, and relatively low-maintenance treatment for municipal and industrial discharges. However, they do have certain design, operations, and maintenance requirements. The manual emphasizes guidance on operations and maintenance, as well as provides information on the basics and innovations in design. It contains useful information for communities that are facing new water quality requirements for nutrient concentrations that were not factored into design specifications when many of the existing ponds were constructed.

Our understanding of the biological, biochemical, and physical factors that interact to treat sewage has improved since the first publication in 1983. The manual will serve as a resource for operators as they work to make treatment processes more efficient and protective of public health.

A focus on effective process, and the fact that wastewater treatment ponds require a minimum amount of concrete and steel infrastructure, makes treatment ponds a sustainable alternative for wastewater treatment.


Eugenia McNaughton
U.S. EPA Region 9
75 Hawthorne St.
Mail Code: MTS-3
San Francisco, CA 94105

Sally Stoll  
U.S. EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Land Remediation and Pollution Control Division
26 W. Martin Luther King Dr.
Mail Code: 190
Cincinnati, OH 45268

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