Environmental Science and Engineering

Influent Constituent Characteristics of the Modern Waste Stream from Single Sources: Literature Review

Publication Date: March 2007
Cooperating Institution: Colorado School of Mines
Principal Investigator: Kathryn Lowe
Project Budget: $789,521 (Entire project)
Project Identifier: 04-DEC-1a


A literature review was conducted to assess the current status of knowledge on the composition of raw wastewater and primary treated effluent (i.e., septic tank effluent) from single source onsite wastewater systems. The overall goal of this research project is to characterize the extent of conventional constituents, microbial constituents, and organic wastewater contaminants in single source onsite raw wastewater and primary treated effluent to aid onsite wastewater system design and management. Information obtained was evaluated using cumulative frequency distributions to compare individual constituent concentrations in various waste streams and by using data qualifiers to enable assessment of parameters that might affect single source waste stream composition. To supplement information on the single source raw wastewater and primary treated effluent composition, state agencies responsible for onsite wastewater regulation were contacted to assess the prevalence of different system types installed and in operation. Selected demographics that capture differences in lifestyle habits that could affect raw wastewater composition were also assessed. A large amount of data was captured by this literature review, however information gaps were identified. The information presented here will be used to guide future project monitoring and assessment of modern raw wastewater waste streams.